\ 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


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

Newcastle kick off their Premier League season on Sunday at home to Arsenal, as the Magpies aim to avoid relegation., "Newcastle Failed in Late Pursuit of Teenage Defender Despite Agreement With PSG," 9 Aug. 2019 The change was aimed at forcing businesses to hire permanent workers. Peter S. Goodman, New York Times, "Italy’s Biggest Economic Problem? It’s Still Italy," 9 Aug. 2019 The red flag orders are often mischaracterized as solely aimed at taking guns from people with mental health disorders, who Frattaroli said are more likely to be victims than perpetrators of gun violence. Catherine Rentz,, "What is a ‘red flag’ law and how has it worked in Maryland and elsewhere?," 7 Aug. 2019 Newton, 30, hasn’t played a game since Dec. 17 and has been held out of some team drills during training camp as trainers aim to make prevent his right shoulder from becoming fatigued., "Redskins first to cash in with gambling-focused telecast," 6 Aug. 2019 But the unheralded Joseph-Day could be a key component as the Rams aim to improve from 2018, especially in rushing defense. Gary Kleinstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "Sebastian Joseph-Day aims to tackle starting job on Rams defense," 5 Aug. 2019 The wall is aimed at discouraging sloppy play like what Miami put on the field in front of owner Steve Ross, who attended training camp for the first time on Saturday and addressed the team afterward. Omar Kelly,, "Dolphins training camp Day 8: Stock up, stock down and other observations from Miami’s sloppy scrimmage," 3 Aug. 2019 The lanyards, in school colors, are aimed at raising awareness about a hotline launched in the wake of a fatal campus shooting 24 years ago at Tavares Middle after several students failed to report that the teenage killer had shown them his gun. Jerry Fallstrom,, "Lake County middle schoolers will wear lanyards with a message: Call hotline if you’re suicidal or feel threatened," 2 Aug. 2019 Last week, McConnell blocked two measures aimed at preventing foreign interference in U.S. elections. Billy Kobin, The Courier-Journal, "AOC to Mitch McConnell: You're not a commie, just a bad leader," 30 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

In short, the aim of this new conservative politics is not more freedom but strong families, resilient faith communities and a thriving middle class. John Burtka Iv, Twin Cities, "John Burtka: Under Trump, a very different agenda for conservatives emerges," 25 July 2019 If an aim of congressional Democrats had been to present the public with a clear and convincing view of presidential misconduct, this seesawing from one sympathetic Democrat to the next Republican inquisitor will not have helped. The Economist, "Impeachment looks even less likely now than before Robert Mueller’s testimony," 25 July 2019 Ross had argued that the aim of the census question was to help the Justice Department enforce the Voting Rights Act, which protects minority voters. Billy House,, "House holds Barr, Ross in contempt over census document fight," 17 July 2019 And if the aim of the conspiracy was to place Pentawere on the throne? National Geographic, "Episode 6: Harem Conspiracy Papyrus," 16 July 2019 The aim of the subpoenas is to trace ownership interests and money flowing to Trump from foreign governments and their representatives. CBS News, "Justice Department files to stop Trump suit demanding financial documents," 9 July 2019 The aim of the center is to simplify the process of accessing resources and services for veterans and their family members. Coast Magazine, Orange County Register, "Golfers deliver for Goodwill of Orange County’s veterans event," 8 July 2019 Drawing from the discipline of Folkloristics, the aim of the course is to understand the country, not from the outside in, but from the inside out. Bitasta Das, Quartz India, "How I engage students of India’s premier science school in folk arts," 27 June 2019 But the aim of left-populists following Mouffe is not bloody revolution or a leftist version of QAnon. Alex Pareene, The New Republic, "In search of the Democratic Party's fighting spirit," 20 June 2019

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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Statistics for aim

Last Updated

13 Aug 2019

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 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

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

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marked by turns or indirection

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