aim

1 of 3

verb

aimed; aiming; aims

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

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

aim

2 of 3

noun

plural aims
1
a
: 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

see also take aim at

AIM

3 of 3

abbreviation

American Indian Movement
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.
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
Standard treatments—including home care methods and certain medications—aim to ease itching, swelling, or other symptoms related to the bites. Mark Gurarie, Health, 13 July 2024 Still, Harvey indicated the coalition's efforts are aimed not only at helping Democrats hold onto the White House, but also retaining control of the Senate and flipping the House, which is now controlled by Republicans. Melissa Quinn, CBS News, 12 July 2024
Noun
The Drug Enforcement Administration later launched an investigation into Perry’s death, with the aim of charging the suspects who supplied him with the drugs. Evan Rosen, New York Daily News, 12 July 2024 But polling of Palestinians suggests that simply by surviving and shaking up the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and through careful messaging, the movement could be on track to achieve its postwar aims. Taylor Luck, The Christian Science Monitor, 11 July 2024 See all Example Sentences for aim 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'aim.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Verb and Noun

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

First Known Use

Verb

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

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 4

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

Dictionary Entries Near aim

Cite this Entry

“Aim.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/aim. Accessed 22 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

aim

1 of 2 verb
1
: to point a weapon
2
: aspire, intend
aims to please
3
: to direct to or toward an object or goal
aim a camera

aim

2 of 2 noun
1
: the directing of a weapon or a missile at a mark
2

More from Merriam-Webster on aim

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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