rheum (n.) late 14c., from O.Fr. reume (13c.), ultimately from Gk. rheuma "stream, current, a flowing," from rhein "to flow," from PIE root *sreu- "to flow" (Cf. Skt. sravati "flows," srotah "stream;" Avestan thraotah- "stream, river," O.Pers. rauta "river;" Gk. rheos "a flowing, stream," rhythmos "rhythm," rhytos "fluid, liquid;" O.Ir. sruaim, Ir. sruth "stream, river;" Welsh ffrwd "stream;" O.N. straumr, O.E. stream, O.H.G. strom (second element in MAELSTROM (Cf. maelstrom)); Lett. strauma "stream, river;" Lith. sraveti "to trickle, ooze;" O.C.S. struja "river," o-strovu "island," lit. "that which is surrounded by a river;" Pol. strumieЕ„ "brook").

Etymology dictionary. 2014.

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