\ ˈām How to pronounce aim (audio) \
aimed; aiming; aims

Definition of aim

 (Entry 1 of 3)

intransitive verb

1 : to direct a course specifically : to point a weapon at an object Aim carefully before shooting.
2 : aspire, intend She aims to win.

transitive verb

1a : point aim a gun
b : to direct toward a specified object or goal a story aimed at children
2 obsolete : guess, conjecture



Definition of aim (Entry 2 of 3)

1a : the pointing of a weapon at a mark She took careful aim.
b : the ability to hit a target a shooter with good aim
c : a weapon's accuracy or effectiveness The gun's aim is off.
2 : a clearly directed intent or purpose Our aim is to win.
3 obsolete
b : the directing of effort toward a goal
4 obsolete : mark, target

Definition of AIM (Entry 3 of 3)

American Indian Movement

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Choose the Right Synonym for aim


intention, intent, purpose, design, aim, end, object, objective, goal mean what one intends to accomplish or attain. intention implies little more than what one has in mind to do or bring about. announced his intention to marry intent suggests clearer formulation or greater deliberateness. the clear intent of the statute purpose suggests a more settled determination. being successful was her purpose in life design implies a more carefully calculated plan. the order of events came by accident, not design aim adds to these implications of effort directed toward attaining or accomplishing. her aim was to raise film to an art form end stresses the intended effect of action often in distinction or contrast to the action or means as such. willing to use any means to achieve his end object may equal end but more often applies to a more individually determined wish or need. his constant object was the achievement of pleasure objective implies something tangible and immediately attainable. their objective is to seize the oil fields goal suggests something attained only by prolonged effort and hardship. worked years to reach her goals

Examples of aim in a Sentence

Verb He aimed the gun carefully before shooting. Don't aim that pistol at me! He aimed carefully before shooting. Try to aim the antenna in the right direction. She aimed the telescope at a point in the eastern sky. She aimed at a point in the eastern sky. He aimed the stone at the dog but missed. The throw from the shortstop was poorly aimed. well-aimed and badly aimed kicks He aimed his criticism primarily at parents. Noun a political movement whose aim is to promote world peace Our ultimate aim is to create something of lasting value. The book has two basic aims. She was unable to achieve her aims. I started this business with the aim of making a profit. He fired at the target but his aim was off and he missed.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Perseverance will aim for Jezero Crater, a treacherous, unexplored expanse of boulders, cliffs, dunes, and possibly rocks bearing the chemical signature of microbes from what was a lake more than 3 billion years ago. Marcia Dunn,, "‘On our way to Mars’: NASA rover will look for signs of life," 30 July 2020 Now, researchers developing coronavirus vaccines aim to avoid a similar fate that could set back fast-moving efforts to curb the pandemic. Peter Loftus, WSJ, "As Covid-19 Vaccine Development Pushes Ahead, Researchers Probe Safety," 12 July 2020 Given the increasing role of the Internet for the economy and for accessing public services, policies to foster an inclusive recovery must aim to tackle the digital divide within and between countries. CNN, "Low internet access is driving inequality," 5 July 2020 Aim with the palm up to shoot lasers; aim with the palm down to shoot missiles. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Iron Man VR review: A sad, painful end to the PS4’s PlayStation VR era," 2 July 2020 But there’s another audience the social media boycotters could more smartly aim to persuade. Owen Thomas,, "The advertiser boycott of social media is just the beginning," 1 July 2020 Demonstrators across the country demanding justice for George Floyd might be wise to aim their wrath at a rare target: police unions. Jorge L. Ortiz, USA TODAY, "'The major stumbling block': Powerful police unions stand in the way of structural reform, experts say," 13 June 2020 KIPs are significantly harder to aim from a distance than metal bullets. Louise Matsakis, Wired, "‘Non-Lethal’ Anti-Protest Weapons Can Cause Serious Harm," 2 June 2020 Experts say states should aim for a positivity rate of 10% or less. oregonlive, "Florida now one of world centers of coronavirus: 12k more cases Monday," 14 July 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun After retiring as a driver in 2015, Wolff started the Dare to be Different non-profit organization with the aim of getting more women involved in motorsport. Richard Parr And Amanda Davies, CNN, "Susie Wolff says Lewis Hamilton's criticism of F1 is 'absolutely valid'," 4 Aug. 2020 Kerala, the southern Indian state with development indicators comparable to the first world, will invest in training and exporting health workers with the aim of capitalizing on their remittances, its Finance Minister Thomas Isaac said. Shwetha Sunil,, "Indian State With First-World Standards to Push Export of Nurses," 31 July 2020 China has been pushing forward its plans to launch a digital yuan, with the aim of becoming the first country in the world to offer a digital sovereign currency. Veta Chan, Fortune, "‘An absolute necessity:’ Why this expert says China desperately needs a digital currency," 30 July 2020 The Postal Service also sought an outside firm to evaluate its largest service contracts, with the aim, experts say, of justifying a package-rate increase. Jacob Bogage,, "Treasury agrees to loan Postal Service $10 billion in trade for rivals’ shipping contracts," 29 July 2020 There’s also Tommy Hilfiger’s inclusive line Adaptive; the recurring disability-friendly collection launched in 2018 with the aim of empowering people of all abilities to express themselves through fashion. Sara Radin,, "Queer Crip Fashion: For Standing Out, Proudly," 29 July 2020 But reparations — or compensation for historical crimes and wrongdoings with the aim of remedying injustices and helping specific groups of people or populations to prosper — have mostly been experimented with in international settings. Kim Hjelmgaard, USA TODAY, "Reparations bill gets new attention amid BLM. Could other nations provide a blueprint?," 10 July 2020 Both pro teams will have a youth academy in the city with the aim of developing young soccer players for individuals ages 8-19, and a training facility at Champions Park is in the works. Lucas Aulbach, The Courier-Journal, "Meet Racing Louisville FC: New NWSL team announces name and colors ahead of 2021 debut," 8 July 2020 The plan would provide grants and incentives to help the process along, with the aim of achieving net-zero emissions in the electricity sector by 2040. Jeff Berardelli, CBS News, ""We are at a crossroads": House Democrats release plan to address climate crisis," 30 June 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'aim.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of aim


14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 4

History and Etymology for aim

Verb and Noun

Middle English, from Anglo-French aesmer & esmer; Anglo-French aesmer, from a- (from Latin ad-) + esmer to estimate, from Latin aestimare

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Time Traveler for aim

Time Traveler

The first known use of aim was in the 14th century

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Statistics for aim

Last Updated

6 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Aim.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for aim


How to pronounce AIM (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of aim

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to point (a weapon) at a target
: to point (a device) at something
: to direct (something, such as a missile, a ball, a punch, or a kick) at a target



English Language Learners Definition of aim (Entry 2 of 2)

: a goal or purpose
: the ability to hit a target


\ ˈām How to pronounce aim (audio) \
aimed; aiming

Kids Definition of aim

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to point a weapon toward an object
2 : intend We aim to please.
3 : to direct toward an object or goal He aimed the stone at the tree. The exercise is aimed at improving balance.



Kids Definition of aim (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the ability to hit a target His aim was excellent.
2 : the pointing of a weapon at a target She took careful aim.
3 : a goal or purpose Our aim is to win.

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More from Merriam-Webster on aim

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for aim

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with aim

Spanish Central: Translation of aim

Nglish: Translation of aim for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of aim for Arabic Speakers

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