\ 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 Organizations must aim to make high-potential, mid-career women and up equal to the number of men in P&L assignments and roles. Tacy Byham, Forbes, "Where Are The Women In The C-Suite?," 1 Mar. 2021 The company also announced a $2 million program to provide funds to entrepreneurs, startups and NGOs who aim to address food sustainability, access and waste. Vanessa Yurkevich, CNN, "Dole Packaged Foods' US workers will soon make $15 an hour," 19 Feb. 2021 In steps Biden, who may aim to take a bite out of the dominance of Big Tech and may welcome an opportunity to work with the opposing side to curb the power of a common adversary. Marcy Gordon, Star Tribune, "For Big Tech, Biden brings a new era but no ease in scrutiny," 27 Nov. 2020 In steps Biden, who may aim to take a bite out of the dominance of Big Tech and may welcome an opportunity to work with the opposing side to curb the power of a common adversary. Marcy Gordon,, "For Big Tech, Biden brings a new era but no ease in scrutiny," 27 Nov. 2020 That was bad news for investors who aim to ride winning assets higher and losing markets lower, a popular quantitative strategy known as momentum investing. Julie Steinberg, WSJ, "Market’s Vaccine Euphoria Was Bad News for Momentum Funds," 18 Nov. 2020 The agency said that its business is hurting from rivals who aim to poach CAA clients and agents. Wendy Lee, Los Angeles Times, "Creative Artists Agency requests injunction in WGA fight," 17 Nov. 2020 Lightwell Survey is the brainchild of D.C. sommelier and restaurateur Sebastian Zutant and Early Mountain Vineyards winemaker Ben Jordan, who aim to challenge our preconceptions of what wine should taste like. Washington Post, "Wines from classic to creative for any Thanksgiving celebration," 13 Nov. 2020 This continued the work of Coalition members, who aim to right injustices for those who have completed their sentences and have re-entered society and seek to participate in America’s democracy. Mike Jones, USA TODAY, "Despite helping restore voting rights for millions, Players Coalition’s work far from over," 6 Nov. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Our aim was in 2020 to open two stores coast to coast. Jill Griffin, Forbes, "To Be Successful, Fail Often," 25 Feb. 2021 Its aim is to reduce the city’s solid waste, thought to be second only to the amount produced by the New York metropolitan area, measured by weight. The Economist, "An unintended consequence of Mexico City’s plastics ban," 20 Feb. 2021 Biden’s inaugural pledge for unity has been tested in his aim for a bipartisan COVID-19 relief package. Katherine Doyle, Washington Examiner, "Biden takes COVID-19 rescue pitch to battleground Wisconsin," 16 Feb. 2021 But its main aim was to decouple pop’s head-rush aesthetics from any commercial expectations, thereby opening space for wilder fun. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "The Countercultural Sound of the 2020s," 14 Feb. 2021 Schmidt bragged about the Lincoln Project's efforts to lambaste Trump's image during the campaign last year, which took aim at the former president's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, among other critical talking points. Kaelan Deese, Washington Examiner, "Bill Maher declines to 'prosecute' Steve Schmidt for Lincoln Project crisis," 13 Feb. 2021 In 2018, Manchin took aim at another symbolic stack of papers: state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey’s lawsuit to dismantle Obamacare. Sam Adler-bell, The New Republic, "Joe Manchin, King of the Senate," 3 Feb. 2021 Clyburn also took aim at Smithfield Foods, which has seen eight worker deaths and 3,500 cases of coronavirus. Irina Ivanova, CBS News, "Meatpackers showed "callous disregard" for workers' lives, key congressman claims," 1 Feb. 2021 The president also took aim at some critics of his goal to deliver 100 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine in 100 days. Linda Qiu, New York Times, "Fact-Checking Biden’s First Week in Office," 30 Jan. 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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Statistics for aim

Last Updated

4 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Aim.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
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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

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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