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verb \ˈtrim\

Simple Definition of trim

  • : to cut (something) off something else : to remove (something) by cutting

  • : to make (something) neat by cutting it

  • : to make the size, amount, or extent of (something) smaller

Full Definition of trim


  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to embellish with or as if with ribbons, lace, or ornaments <trim the Christmas tree> <the coat was trimmed with fur>

  3. 2a :  to administer a beating to :  thrashb :  defeat <trimmed me at chess>

  4. 3a :  to make trim and neat especially by cutting or clipping <trim the hedges>b :  to free of excess or extraneous matter by or as if by cutting <trim a budget> <trim down the inventory>c :  to remove by or as if by cutting <trimmed thousands from federal payrolls — Grit>

  5. 4a (1) :  to cause (as a ship) to assume a desirable position in the water by arrangement of ballast, cargo, or passengers (2) :  to adjust (as an airplane or submarine) for horizontal movement or for motion upward or downwardb :  to adjust (as cargo or a sail) to a desired position

  6. intransitive verb
  7. 1a :  to maintain neutrality between opposing parties or to favor each equallyb :  to change one's views for reasons of expediency

  8. 2 :  to assume or cause a boat to assume a desired position in the water <a boat that trims badly>

trim one's sails
  1. :  to adjust oneself or one's actions to prevailing conditions <compromise or trim your sails to suit the political winds — Philip Johnston>

Examples of trim

  1. The hedges need to be trimmed.

  2. They are looking for ways to trim the budget.

  3. We trimmed the Christmas tree.

  4. a pillow trimmed in lace

Origin of trim

probably from Middle English *trimmen to prepare, put in order, from Old English trymian, trymman to strengthen, arrange, from trum strong, firm; probably akin to Old English trēo tree, wood — more at tree

First Known Use: circa 1521

Rhymes with trim




Simple Definition of trim

  • : neat and orderly

  • : slim and healthy

Full Definition of trim


  1. 1 obsolete :  excellent, fine

  2. 2 :  ready for service or use; also :  in good physical condition <keeps trim by jogging>

  3. 3 :  exhibiting neatness, good order, or compactness of line or structure <trim houses>

trim·ly adverb
trim·ness noun

Examples of trim

  1. She has a trim figure.

  2. He keeps fit and trim by biking.

Circa 1521

First Known Use of trim

circa 1521




Definition of trim

  1. :  in a trim manner :  trimly —used chiefly in combination <the trim-cut forest vistas — W. M. Thackeray>


First Known Use of trim





Simple Definition of trim

  • : an act of trimming something (such as hair)

  • : material (such as ribbons, lace, etc.) that is used for decorating something especially around its edges

Full Definition of trim

  1. 1 :  suitable or excellent condition <tries to keep in trim>

  2. 2a :  one's clothing or appearanceb :  material used for ornament or trimmingc :  the woodwork in the finish of a building especially around openingsd :  the interior furnishings of an automobile

  3. 3a :  the position of a ship or boat especially with reference to the horizontal; also :  the difference between the draft of a ship forward and that aftb :  the relation between the plane of a sail and the direction of the shipc :  the buoyancy status of a submarined :  the attitude of a lighter-than-air craft relative to a fore-and-aft horizontal planee :  the attitude with respect to wind axes at which an airplane will continue in level flight with free controls

  4. 4 :  something that is trimmed off or cut out

  5. 5 :  a haircut that neatens a previous haircut

Examples of trim

  1. a skirt with lace trim

  2. <the doctor declared her to be in good trim for the race>

Circa 1593

First Known Use of trim

circa 1593

Other Automotive Terms


geographical name \ˈtrim\

Definition of Trim

  1. town E Ireland ∗ of County Meath pop 1781

Seen and Heard

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February 7, 2016

a slight offense

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