\ 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

After numerous investigations, reams of testimony, and three years of legal wrangling, no one was ever held criminally liable. Francine Uenuma, Smithsonian, "The Iroquois Theater Disaster Killed Hundreds and Changed Fire Safety Forever," 12 June 2018 Bridgehaven receives its funding overwhelmingly from Medicaid and its administrators are preparing for reams of new red tape with no obvious way to add staff to help. Benjy Sarlin, NBC News, "Work for it. What Trump’s tough new Medicaid rules mean.," 20 Feb. 2018 Scientist comb through the reams of data looking for previously unknown physics signatures that hopefully increase our understanding of the world and beyond. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "The Large Hadron Collider Is Going Offline So It Can Become More Powerful," 6 Dec. 2018 That required a material that was new to me, Ferrite Dust, and much futzing with reams of menus and inventories. Steven Strom, Ars Technica, "With NEXT update, No Man’s Sky finally brings it all together," 6 Aug. 2018 But the keyboards haven’t been completely redesigned, which is notable considering the reams of grief caused by the previous design. Lauren Goode, WIRED, "Apple's MacBook Pros Get Faster Chips, New Keyboards (Kinda)," 12 July 2018 Those companies have billions of active users and reams of data to target them, making them a favorite for marketers. Benjamin Mullin, WSJ, "Brands Now Spend Nearly Two Thirds of Digital Advertising on Mobile, IAB Says," 13 Nov. 2018 The jury must consider paper trails, international financial transactions, and reams of documents — this is not an open-and-shut case. Emily Stewart, Vox, "8 experts on why the Paul Manafort jury doesn’t have a verdict yet — and what it might mean," 19 Aug. 2018 In fact, honey has featured prominently in folk medicine for millennia, and reams of clinical studies confirm its wound-healing effects. Cristina Mueller, Town & Country, "Beauty and the Bees," 6 Dec. 2012

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

One end of the Easy Out is a stubby, reaming-style drill bit. Roy Berendsohn, Popular Mechanics, "How to Extract Those Pesky Stripped Screws," 8 Nov. 2018 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

12 Jan 2019

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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More from Merriam-Webster on ream

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with ream

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for ream

Spanish Central: Translation of ream

Nglish: Translation of ream for Spanish Speakers

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).


tremendous in size, volume, or degree

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