\ˈām \
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

a : conjecture, guess

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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Other Words from aim


aimless \-ləs \ adjective
aimless wandering an aimless youth
aimlessly adverb
aimlessness noun

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


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.


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

Photo: mohsin raza/Reuters The terror groups oppose democracy, aim to sow chaos and impose strict Islamic law. Saeed Shah, WSJ, "Deadly Bombings and Ex-Leader’s Arrest Roil Pakistan Before Vote," 13 July 2018 Is there any meat on the bone to justify the innuendo that Painter and Tanden seemed to be aiming at Kennedy and his son? Salvador Rizzo,, "There is an unfounded conspiracy theory about the Supreme Court and Trump Tower Chicago," 14 July 2018 The bill gives the management councils more control over no-fishing timeframes to rebuild fish stocks and aims to provide more input to outside groups. Erica Martinson, Anchorage Daily News, "Don Young’s bill to revise Magnuson-Stevens fishing law passes U.S. House," 13 July 2018 The new tool, which Celmatix has dubbed MyFertility Compass, aims to change that. Megan Molteni, WIRED, "This Company Wants Your Fertility Data," 13 July 2018 Established in 2014, the Detroit Mass Mob brings an influx of visitors to a mass at a specific parish, aiming to show solidarity with the Catholic faith and supporting some of the city's historic parishes. Deasia Paige, Detroit Free Press, "Ukrainian Catholic tradition to be celebrated at next Detroit Mass Mob," 13 July 2018 Emma Tiernon, a spokesperson for CuriosityStream, tells Jarus that the team is aiming to make the tour compatible with other headsets. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Take a VR Tour of an Egyptian Queen’s Elaborate Tomb," 12 July 2018 Blazars are exceptionally bright, astronomers believe, because their jets happen to be aimed straight at Earth. Daniel Clery, Science | AAAS, "Ghostly particle caught in polar ice ushers in new way to look at the universe," 12 July 2018 The district always aims to have at least 10 percent more drivers than routes in order to cover for employee absences, Fergus said. Rafael Guerrero, Elgin Courier-News, "Elgin-area school districts still looking for bus drivers but don't expect start-of-school problems," 12 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The aim is to lure 200,000 motorists to switch to cycling, and to increase annual bike travel by 3bn bicycle-kilometres in 2027. The Economist, "The Dutch underground bicycle-park arms race," 12 July 2018 The aim is to move energy up through the body, an experience known as kundalini rising. Susannah Bryan,, "Five yoga styles to know," 10 July 2018 The aim is to streamline the sourcing process and reduce costs for manufacturers. Jennifer Smith, WSJ, "Custom-Parts Marketplace Xometry Raises $25 Million in New Funding," 10 July 2018 The aim is to follow in Mandela’s footsteps, and to end extreme poverty by 2030. Vogue, "Beyoncé and Jay-Z Among Headliners at the Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100," 9 July 2018 The aim is to improve health, reduce emissions and tackle plastic waste. Kaila Contreras, Houston Chronicle, "Area teen creates plan to reduce erosion, improve water quality at Lake Houston," 6 July 2018 As ever with research like this, the aim is not to actually beat humans at video games, but to find new ways of teaching agents to navigate complex environments while pursuing a shared goal. James Vincent, The Verge, "DeepMind’s AI agents exceed ‘human-level’ gameplay in Quake III," 4 July 2018 That last one should be special: we've been told by Porsche the aim is to break the 1-minute barrier at the Californian circuit... Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "Porsche shatters the Nürburgring record we thought was unbreakable," 30 June 2018 The aim is to ensure banks have enough capital to absorb losses and keep lending even in a serious recession. Deon Roberts, charlotteobserver, "Charlotte's big banks plan to boost their dividends, buy back more stock," 28 June 2018

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


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


see aim entry 1

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Dictionary Entries near aim








Phrases Related to aim

aim high

take aim

Statistics for aim

Last Updated

8 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for aim

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

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More Definitions for aim



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 \
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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Comments on aim

What made you want to look up aim? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


one that holds something together

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