\ˈrēm \

Definition of ream 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a quantity of paper being 20 quires or variously 480, 500, or 516 sheets

2 : a great amount usually used in plural reams of information


reamed; reaming; reams

Definition of ream (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to widen the opening of (a hole) : countersink

b(1) : to enlarge, shape, or smooth out (a hole) with a reamer

(2) : to enlarge the bore of (something, such as a gun) in this way

c : to remove by reaming

2a : to press out with a reamer

b : to press out the juice of (a fruit, such as an orange) with a reamer

4 : reprimand often used with out reams out his players so severely— Alexander Wolff

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Examples of ream in a Sentence


He got reamed in the press for his comments. reamed a whole new generation of suckers with a variation of the Ponzi scheme

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Photo: Francesco Pistilli/Bloomberg News Advertisers have poured huge sums into the two tech giants over the past decade, lured by their huge audiences and ability to target ads based on reams of consumer data. Suzanne Vranica, WSJ, "Facebook and Google Face Emboldened Antagonists: Big Advertisers," 25 Mar. 2018 Senators will be seeking access to Kavanaugh’s writings and correspondence, reams of documents that will take weeks to compile and even longer to review, giving opponents ample opportunity to wage a political battle. Lisa Mascaro, The Seattle Times, "Emotions high as Kavanaugh begins fight for confirmation," 10 July 2018 When James Chapa was handed that big ream of paper (on the witness stand), that was the transcript of his interview with the police, and the defense could only find two or three small things that had changed in his testimony. Bruce Selcraig, San Antonio Express-News, "Accused in S.A. murder trial found not guilty," 12 July 2018 In fact, top-sheet truthers are passionate and offer reams (bolts?) of compelling evidence for the superiority of this choice. Liz Krieger, Town & Country, "It’s Time to Say Goodbye to Top Sheets For Good," 20 June 2018 Cooper wrote copious briefs that showed Atlanta could provide the demand necessary to support international travel, providing the federal government with reams of data. J. Scott Trubey, ajc, "Roy Cooper, 91, helped Hartsfield-Jackson become international airport," 14 June 2018 More than a dozen states balked at the commission's demand for reams of personal voter data, including names, partial Social Security numbers, voting histories and party affiliations. Calvin Woodward And Hope Yen,, "Fact Check: Trump is having it both ways on border policy," 7 Apr. 2018 Amore touched on the key relationships revealed in reams of interviews conducted by the NCAA, including a particularly damning allegation from former UConn assistant Glen Miller. Chris Brodeur,, "UConn Insider Podcast: How The Fracture Of Kevin Ollie And His Alma Mater Became A Full-Fledged Feud," 3 July 2018 But what about the reams of white paper blanketing the water’s surface, sheets covered in ink dissolved into illegibility, forming a 10-meter-wide circle around them? Sarah Lyall, New York Times, "Far From the Shore, a Happy Couple Takes a Turn for the Worse," 11 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Those reaming seats are at all price points -- $60, $95, $155 and $435 - and will be released closer to the date of the show. Andrea Simakis,, "60,000 Hamilton tickets sell out in hours at Cleveland's Playhouse Square (photos)," 13 Apr. 2018 As this is happening, Veronica reams Archie for spilling the beans about Pop's. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "'Riverdale' Season 2 Episode 15 Recap: Everyone Is Creepy, and Everyone Is Evil," 14 Mar. 2018 Saban reamed him on the sideline and promptly yanked him. Conor Orr,, "Belichick and Saban: The Stories Behind Football’s Most Powerful Friendship," 18 Jan. 2018 The plumbers come out about once a year to ream the pipes, usually in the spring. Caitlin R. Mcglade,, "Database: What Broward teachers say about the mold issue in their classrooms," 31 Aug. 2017 After one series in which Brady threw incompletions to Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman, and in which Houston’s defense kept getting penetration, Brady yanked off his helmet on the way to the sidelines and reamed out his teammates. Peter King,, "Patriots-Texans Camp Practice: ‘A Great Day to Measure Yourself Against the Best’," 16 Aug. 2017 Now the stars are being refurbished, the aged pipes reamed clean and the new pump wrangled into its damp pit. Steve Hendrix, Washington Post, "Where’s the water? In the nation’s capital, dry fountains mar the landscape.," 9 July 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ream.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of ream


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1815, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for ream


Middle English reme, from Anglo-French, ultimately from Arabic rizma, literally, bundle


perhaps from Middle English *remen to open up, from Old English rēman; akin to Old English rȳman to open up, rūm space — more at room

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Statistics for ream

Last Updated

21 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for ream

The first known use of ream was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for ream



English Language Learners Definition of ream

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: an amount of paper that equals 480, 500, or 516 sheets

reams : a large amount of writing



English Language Learners Definition of ream (Entry 2 of 2)

: to criticize (someone) in an angry way


\ˈrēm \

Kids Definition of ream

1 : a quantity of paper that may equal 480, 500, or 516 sheets

2 reams plural : a great amount I took reams of notes in class.

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Comments on ream

What made you want to look up ream? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to express warning or disapproval

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