A ream is a quantity of paper sold in a bundle, once comprised of 480 sheets but now rounded up to 500. If you write reams of love letters to your beloved, I hope she appreciates them. Or at least recycles.

The word ream has two distinct meanings, depending on whether you use it as a noun or a verb. As a noun, it refers to an amount of paper, its origin from the Arabic rizmah, or "bundle." As a verb, ream is a rough word that can mean "to make a hole in" or "to squeeze." When you "ream someone out" you give them a scolding.

Primary Meanings of ream

a quantity of paper; 480 or 500 sheets; one ream equals 20 quires
enlarge with a reamer
Full Definitions of ream

n a quantity of paper; 480 or 500 sheets; one ream equals 20 quires

Type of:
definite quantity
a specific measure of amount

n a large quantity of written matter

“he wrote reams and reams”
Type of:
large indefinite amount, large indefinite quantity
an indefinite quantity that is above the average in size or magnitude

v enlarge with a reamer

ream a hole”
Type of:
make larger

v remove by making a hole or by boring

“the dentist reamed out the debris in the course of the root canal treatment”
Type of:
remove, take, take away, withdraw
remove something concrete, as by lifting, pushing, or taking off, or remove something abstract

v squeeze the juice out (of a fruit) with a reamer

ream oranges”
Type of:
express, extract, press out
obtain from a substance, as by mechanical action

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