\ 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 That dynamic is often overlooked by companies that aim to get more people online, said Josh Woodward, director of product management at Google. Katie Deighton, WSJ, "Google Rethinks App Design for Internet Novices," 21 Oct. 2020 His claim -- made in a speech from London at a rally in Gujranwala on Friday -- set the tone for the 11-party opposition movement’s series of rallies that aim to oust Khan from power within three months. Ismail Dilawar,, "Pakistan Braces For Fresh Protests With Khan Under Pressure," 19 Oct. 2020 Maine Business Daily is part of a fast-growing network of nearly 1,300 websites that aim to fill a void left by vanishing local newspapers across the country. Jack Nicas, New York Times, "As Local News Dies, a Pay-for-Play Network Rises in Its Place," 18 Oct. 2020 Maine Business Daily is part of a fast-growing network of nearly 1,300 websites that aim to fill a void left by vanishing local newspapers across the country. Davey Alba And Jack Nicas New York Times, Star Tribune, "As local news dies, a pay-for-play network rises in its place," 18 Oct. 2020 Apple introduced four new iPhones that aim to capitalize on the emergence of 5G wireless networks, with the technology maker promising that the iPhone 12 will offer higher upload and download speeds and be more durable. Irina Ivanova, CBS News, "Apple unveils iPhone 12 and HomePod Mini," 13 Oct. 2020 About a dozen clinical trials have been registered in a database run by the U.S. National Library of Medicine that aim to evaluate the virus-killing abilities of various oral and nasal rinses in people who have tested positive for the coronavirus. Allyson Chiu, Washington Post, "What those studies on mouthwash and coronaviruses actually mean," 8 Oct. 2020 Each recipient will receive $80 million as part of cost-share agreements between the government and industry that aim for the companies to build two reactors that can be operational within seven years. Josh Siegel, Washington Examiner, "Daily on Energy: US LNG could face pressure from EU’s new methane plans," 14 Oct. 2020 Members of Near West Theatre’s summer youth program share their stories about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement with virtual performances that aim to connect, support and inspire the community. cleveland, "16 things to do in Cleveland this weekend, October 9-11," 8 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun If the Hummer's off-road credentials don't convince you that GMC is taking aim at Jeep's Gladiator and Wrangler, maybe its four-panel removable roof will. Annie White, Car and Driver, "What We Know about the 2022 GMC Hummer EV's Removable Roof," 21 Oct. 2020 Political action committees connected to Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York and the minority leader, have pumped tens of millions of dollars into the race, taking aim at Ms. Ernst. Luke Broadwater, New York Times, "Ernst Struggles in Iowa as Republicans Battle to Hold Senate Amid Trump’s Woes," 17 Oct. 2020 For his part, Trump appears to be joining in taking aim at NBC News. oregonlive, "Joe Biden, Donald Trump host dueling town halls tonight: Time, TV channels, how to watch free live streams online (10/15/2020)," 15 Oct. 2020 The Democratic governors of all three states say the fires are a consequence of climate change, taking aim at President Donald Trump ahead of his visit Monday to California for a fire briefing. Lindsay Whitehurst And Sara Cline, The Christian Science Monitor, "Death toll rises as firefighters battle West Coast wildfires," 14 Sep. 2020 Speaking of the pandemic, hackers are taking aim at the medical establishment. Aaron Pressman, Fortune, "A goodbye after 19 years," 5 Oct. 2020 Around 200 people demonstrated in Brussels against coronavirus restrictions in early September, taking particular aim at mask requirements. Megan Specia, New York Times, "As Europe’s Coronavirus Cases Rise, So Do Voices Crying Hoax," 28 Sep. 2020 For decades now, Americans have been taking aim at and tearing down public authorities and institutions, denying the possibility of achieving a truly neutral and fair-minded standpoint on the world. Damon Linker, TheWeek, "The 2000 presidential election, on steroids," 25 Sep. 2020 Taking aim at big pharma unites Democrats and Republicans, and with good reason. San Diego Union-Tribune, "With November election looming, San Diego’s biotech community eyes policy issues," 20 Sep. 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

29 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Aim.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Oct. 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

Nglish: Translation of aim for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of aim for Arabic Speakers

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