\ 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


plural aims

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

— see also take aim at

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 Democrats also want to broaden Medicare benefits to cover dental, vision and hearing and aim to reduce carbon emissions economywide by 50% by 2030. WSJ, 30 Sep. 2021 Elsewhere, Tatyana Ali will attend a Christmas photography retreat, and Reba McEntire and John Schneider will aim to hit the right notes for charity. Dan Snierson,, 28 Sep. 2021 Those characteristics are likely to shape how the Spurs aim to play now that DeRozan has taken his 21.6 points and 15 shots per game to Chicago. Jeff Mcdonald, San Antonio Express-News, 27 Sep. 2021 Gruber said the companies aim to apply to the FDA by the end of the month for emergency use in 5 to 11 year olds. Ariel Hart, ajc, 25 Sep. 2021 Repeat does not aim for the top 1% to award prizes—30% to 40% of participants have the chance to share in the prize pool. Allbusiness, Forbes, 24 Sep. 2021 When first-generation students do aim high, still other research shows that employers prefer candidates from elite universities who are more likely to be from higher income levels and social classes and families in which other people have degrees. Jon Marcus, Wired, 24 Sep. 2021 Grantham, a 55-year-old coaching veteran of more than 30 years, realizes Tennessee and future opponents will aim to put the Gators out of position and force mental errors. Edgar Thompson,, 21 Sep. 2021 Auburn will look to bounce back from a 28-20 setbacks against Penn State on the road, and the Tigers will aim to address key areas that contributed to the team’s defeat in Happy Valley. Tom Green |, al, 20 Sep. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In recent years, many writers have begun to take aim at these flawed tropes. Kate Cray, The Atlantic, 24 Sep. 2021 His team sees an opportunity to take direct aim at Mr. Trump, who has struggled to deliver on his pledges to pay for major improvements to American infrastructure. New York Times, 5 Aug. 2021 Many of the bills take aim at young trans people’s access to health care and participation in high school sports. NBC News, 15 Sep. 2021 The storm will graze Bermuda Thursday, then take aim on Newfoundland, Canada, by late Friday. Editors, USA TODAY, 9 Sep. 2021 Some changes squarely take aim at the Houston area, where President Joe Biden carried the surrounding county of 1.6 million voters by a 13-point margin. Paul J. Weber And Lm Otero, Chron, 7 Sep. 2021 Some changes squarely take aim at Harris County in the Houston area, where President Joe Biden carried the county of 1.6 million voters last year by a 13-point margin., 7 Sep. 2021 Both efforts would take aim at the heart of how California’s government services are funded. John Myers, Los Angeles Times, 2 Sep. 2021 In a statement, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr. appeared to squarely take aim at Facebook, which owns Instagram. Ej Dickson, Rolling Stone, 31 Aug. 2021

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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Dictionary Entries Near aim




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Statistics for aim

Last Updated

6 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Aim.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Oct. 2021.

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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 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.

More from Merriam-Webster on aim

Nglish: Translation of aim for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of aim for Arabic Speakers


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