\ 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

Taking a giant leap in its space program, India is looking to solidify its place among the world’s space-exploring countries with its second unmanned mission to the Moon, aiming to land a rover near the unexplored lunar south pole. Fox News, "India to land rover on Moon in global space race," 13 July 2019 While the infielder is in the Bronx aiming to win another batting title in another league, his old mile-high team — coming off consecutive playoff appearances but seriously struggling on the mound — threatens to overtake the Giants for last place. John Shea,, "MLB second-half storylines: Giants could do Bumgarner a favor by trading him," 13 July 2019 Newsom, whose staff played a major role in writing the bill and lobbying for it, said AB 1054 aims to put money into the hands of wildfire victims more quickly and promote programs to reduce fire risk. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Newsom signs wildfire liability legislation and hires a new utilities commission president," 12 July 2019 Williams takes on Romania's former world No.1 Simon Halep in Saturday's Wimbledon final, aiming to avenge last year's final defeat by Angelique Kerber and add an eighth crown on the grass of the All England Club. Rob Hodgetts, CNN, "Chasing 24th grand slam title, Serena Williams targets 'calm' space," 12 July 2019 To make the university a great place to work, the draft strategic plan says U of L will aim to: Develop hiring practices designed to attract competitive job candidates and to support diversity, equity and inclusion. Morgan Watkins, The Courier-Journal, "Part of U of L's proposed strategic plan is to improve retention and help more graduate," 12 July 2019 The story about Mariano arose last week when it was reported that the Dominican Republic international, who inherited Cristiano Ronaldo's number seven shirt at Real Madrid, had been offered to Arsenal for just £18m as Los Blancos aim to raise cash., "Arsenal Handed Major Blows in Both Ryan Fraser & Mariano Diaz Transfer Pursuits," 12 July 2019 Since then, famed activist investor and Oxy shareholder Carl Icahn has a launched a proxy war against Oxy, aiming to replace nearly half of the Oxy board. Jordan Blum, Houston Chronicle, "Anadarko sets August shareholder vote on Oxy takeover," 11 July 2019 Acosta held a press conference in Washington Wednesday, aiming to defend himself from critics such as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who has called on him to resign over his role in creating the deal. Jane Coaston, Vox, "The state of New York protected Jeffrey Epstein — not his victims," 11 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Apart from returning with the trophy, Manchester City centre back Garcia's aim in Armenia will to catch the eye of manager Pep Guardiola., "UEFA European Under-19 Championships: 9 Players to Watch Out for in Armenia," 13 July 2019 At first, unsure of how to handle Perot, Clinton's debate team ultimately settled on a deflect-and-aim strategy. Major Garrett, CBS News, "Analysis: What's missing from the Ross Perot obituaries," 11 July 2019 Enterprise spoofing is imitating a business for the same aim. Madeline Purdue, USA TODAY, "This is where robocalls are coming from (and where they are targeting)," 9 July 2019 Although praised by Western allies, the deal angered many Greeks, who consider use of the term by their neighbor to harbor expansionist aims on the Greek province of the same name. Elena Becatoros, Fox News, "Greece election: Conservative party regains control, ousts left-wing PM," 8 July 2019 Doubts persist on whether those aims have been achieved by this deal. Jen Kirby, Vox, "Sudan’s military and civilian opposition have reached a power-sharing deal," 5 July 2019 Once the children are transferred to the facility, staff aim to contact their parents or guardians within 24 hours so they can be placed with them while awaiting the outcome of their immigration cases. James Barragán, Dallas News, "Newly minted child detention center in rural Texas draws about 100 at first protest," 3 July 2019 Carrot seed is very small and can be hard to sow precisely, so aim for five to eight seeds per inch. Hilary Dahl, Good Housekeeping, "How to Plant a Fall Garden and Grow Late-Season Crops," 1 July 2019 That is the aim of the research: create a layer that, no matter what, matches the thermal conductivity of whatever is behind it. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Easy-to-make thermal chameleon fades into the background," 30 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

16 Jul 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

Comments on aim

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to complain fretfully

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