\ˈrüm \

Definition of rheum 

1 : a watery discharge from the mucous membranes especially of the eyes or nose

2 archaic : tears

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Other Words from rheum

rheumy \ˈrü-mē \ adjective

Examples of rheum in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Amir began wheezing at night — once so badly that an ambulance was called — and woke up most mornings to find his eyes swollen shut with rheum. Hannah Natanson, Washington Post, "Lawmaker calls for delaying demolition near D.C. General until shelter residents are out," 9 July 2018 This washes excess tear fluid that would form into rheum away into your eye’s tear drainage system, Dr. Kathuria explains. Korin Miller, SELF, "The Fascinating Reason You Get Eye Boogers When You Sleep," 17 Jan. 2018

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

First Known Use of rheum

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for rheum

Middle English reume, from Anglo-French, from Latin rheuma, from Greek, literally, flow, flux, from rhein to flow — more at stream

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

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\ˈrüm \

Medical Definition of rheum 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: a watery discharge from the mucous membranes especially of the eyes or nose also : a condition (as a cold) marked by such discharge

Other Words from rheum

rheumy \ \ adjective


Rhe·um | \ˈrē-əm \

Medical Definition of Rheum (Entry 2 of 2)

: a genus of Asian herbs (family Polygonaceae) that have large leaves, small flowers, and a 3-winged fruit and that include the rhubarbs (as the Chinese rhubarb, R. officinale, and rhapontic, R. rhaponticum)

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


a state of commotion or excitement

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