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from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A watery or thin mucous discharge from the eyes or nose.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A genus of plants. See rhubarb.
  • n. A serous or mucous discharge, especially one from the eves or nose.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A mucous discharge, as from the nostrils or lungs during a cold; hence, catarrhal discharge from the air-passages, nose, or eyes.
  • n. A thin serous fluid, secreted by the mucous glands, etc., as in catarrh; humid matter which collects in the eyes, nose, or mouth, as tears, saliva, and the like.
  • n. Spleen; choler.
  • n. A genus of apetalous plants of the order Polygonaceæ and tribe Rumiceæ.
  • n. It is characterized by its (usually) nine stamens, and its six-parted perianth which remains unchanged in fruit, around the three-winged and exserted fruit. There are about 20 species, natives of Siberia, the Himalayas, and western Asia. They are stout herbs from thick and somewhat woody rootstocks, with large toothed or lobed and wavy leaves, and loose dry stipular sheaths. The small white or greenish pedicelled bractless flowers are in racemed fascicles, the racemes panicled. The floral leaves are in some species small, in others large and colored, as in R. nobile, a remarkable species of the Sikhim Himalayas. For this and other species, see rhubarb, the common name of the genus. See also cuts under plumule and rhubarb.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a watery discharge from the mucous membranes (especially from the eyes or nose)
  • n. rhubarb


Middle English reume, from Old French, from Late Latin rheuma, from Greek, a flowing, rheum; see sreu- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Anglo-Norman roume, reume, Middle French rume, ryeume, and their source, Late Latin rheuma, from Ancient Greek ῥεῦμα ("stream, humour"). (Wiktionary)



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  • "AUFIDIUS: There was it;--
    For which my sinews shall be stretch'd upon him.
    At a few drops of women's rheum, which are
    As cheap as lies, he sold the blood and labour
    Of our great action..."
    - William Shakespeare, 'The Tragedy of Coriolanus'.

    August 29, 2009