rheum

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See also: Rheum

English[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

From Anglo-Norman reume, from Late Latin rheuma, from Ancient Greek ῥεῦμα (rheûma, stream, humour). Doublet of stream.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

rheum (countable and uncountable, plural rheums)

  1. (uncountable) Watery or thin discharge of serum or mucus, especially from the eyes or nose, formerly thought to cause disease. [from 14th c.]
  2. Illness or disease thought to be caused by such secretions; a catarrh, a cold; rheumatism. [from 14th c.]
    • 1603, Michel de Montaigne, “Of the Recompences or Rewards of Honour”, in John Florio, transl., The Essayes, [], book II, printed at London: By Val[entine] Simmes for Edward Blount [], OCLC 946730821, page 227:
      And not as ſome yeeres ſince, I ſaw a Deane of S. Hillarie of Poictiers, reduced by reaſon and the incommoditie of his melancholy to ſuch a continuall ſolitarineſſe, that when I entered into his chamber he had never remooved one ſteppe out of it in twoo and twenty yeares before: yet had all his faculties free and eaſie, onely a rheume excepted that fell into his ſtomake.
  3. (poetic) Tears. [from 16th c.]
    • 1595 December 9 (first known performance)​, William Shakespeare, “The life and death of King Richard the Second”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act I, scene iv], page 27, column 2:
      Rich. And ſay, what ſtore of parting tears were ſhed? / Aum. Faith none for me: except the Northeaſt wind / Which then grew bitterly againſt our face, / Awak’d the ſleepie rhewme, and ſo by chance / Did grace our hollow parting with a teare.

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