Quire

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A quire may be either:

  • a measure of quantity of paper. This has varied through history between 4 and 25 sheets - it is now settled as one twentieth of a ream, although a ream also has varied. French and Italian paper-makers sold 25 sheets in a quire; English and Dutch only sold 24 sheets. The standard measure now is 25 sheets to the quire, 20 quires to the ream = 500 sheets in a ream.
Etymological note: this word is the same as the French cahier, which now means 'exercise book', but began as a bookbinder's term meaning 'a gathering': 'the collection of loose sheets in order', 'leaves of paper folded and placed, or 'nested', inside one another'. See also The Kingis Quair.
  • An almost obsolete spelling of choir.