\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

The size that Musk aimed for is truly massive, too. Sean O'kane, The Verge, "Tesla will live and die by the Gigafactory," 30 Nov. 2018 Here at Vogue, most of us tread somewhere in the middle, aiming for looks that are comfy, casual, and cozy—but still presentable! Madeline Fass, Vogue, "19 Vogue Editors Share Their Ideal Holiday Travel Outfit," 15 Nov. 2018 Further Reading Rocket Lab reveals new factory and launch site, aims for 16 flights next year Rocket Lab has now flown the Electron booster, a small-satellite launcher, three times. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Rocket Lab now has a fully operational small satellite launcher," 12 Nov. 2018 Here are the eight things to keep an eye on this week: 90 Day Fiancé: Season six of this explosive reality TV series about couples from different countries aiming for fiancé visas begins tonight. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "8 New TV Shows and Movies to Watch This Week," 21 Oct. 2018 Now) These creamy lip tints give you that blurred matte lip stain look that every lip product seems to be aiming for these days. Allure Editors, Allure, "The Best New Beauty Products of September 2018," 30 Sep. 2018 Women should generally drink about nine cups of water a day, or while men should aim for 13, according to the Mayo Clinic. Tehrene Firman, Good Housekeeping, "How Much Water Should You Drink Every Day, According to Experts," 26 July 2018 An excellent coach should therefore aim to have the student doing 50% of the talking. Hafeez Lakhani, Seventeen, "Here's Exactly How To Slay the SAT and ACT," 22 July 2018 Artist Erick Antonio Benitez collected the artifacts during trips to the 1,954-mile border and used them as part of his immersive art installation, which aims to draw attention to the plight migrants face on their journey to the United States. Talia Richman,, "Erick Antonio Benitez named winner of 2018 Sondheim Artscape Prize," 15 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Need more be said in a general way about this literary form whose aim is never definitude and whose speciality is specificity? Joseph Epstein, WSJ, "‘Essayism’ Review: Tell Me a Bit (Less) About Yourself," 30 Nov. 2018 The Journal of Controversial Ideas should be understood as part of a conversation about what authorial practices are best suited to the aims of academic inquiry. Ars Technica, "The Journal of Controversial Ideas—academic freedom sans responsibility is reckless," 25 Nov. 2018 Among the aims of an overhaul, according to a White House official, is to save money with fewer prisoners and ultimately redirect those funds to help law-enforcement efforts. Kristina Peterson, WSJ, "Trump Supports Changes to Criminal-Justice System," 14 Nov. 2018 While the ultimate goal at Faraday Future remains getting its luxury EV into production, the immediate aim is survival. Sean O'kane, The Verge, "Faraday Future says its main investor is ‘deliberately starving’ it into bankruptcy," 9 Nov. 2018 All aboard: construction of a hydrogen fuel cell boat, with aims to be the first of its kind to run commercially, was announced on Thursday in San Francisco. Megan Geuss, Ars Technica, "California’s cap-and-trade dollars are building a hydrogen fuel cell boat," 8 Nov. 2018 Outside of the truly stupid, the choices will be up to the users, with the overall aim of defeating an AI named Zookd that has accidentally been released online. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "For Halloween This Year, MIT Is Letting the Internet Control a Person," 29 Oct. 2018 The seats, which range from a single chair to a two and three-person sofa, aim to make an open plan layout a little less open with its cocoon-like design. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Fritz Hansen’s new seating makes open plan offices more bearable," 10 Oct. 2018 This morning, Duchess Kate and Prince William attended the first Global Ministerial Mental Health Summit, an event in London where policy makers from multiple countries are coming together with the aim to improve mental health for all. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Kate Middleton Recycles Her Lilac Emilia Wickstead Dress for the Global Mental Health Summit," 9 Oct. 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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Statistics for aim

Last Updated

3 Dec 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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More from Merriam-Webster on aim

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with aim

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for aim

Spanish Central: Translation of aim

Nglish: Translation of aim for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of aim for Arabic Speakers

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).


living or existing for a long time

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