\ 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

And there’s more to every single one of those stories, which Trinkets aims to reveal. Ariana Romero,, "R29 Binge Club: Netflix’s Trinkets Recap," 15 June 2019 The investigation found the outsize influence of corporate money has helped limit environmental protections in a state that once aimed to be an environmental pioneer. Rob Davis | The Oregonian/oregonlive,, "Limits on Oregon campaign money are dead. But voters may still get to weigh in.," 14 June 2019 Nonetheless, the proposal still passed, clearing a key City Hall hurdle, and developers aim to start construction next summer. Tim Logan,, "Despite criticism, Dock Square condo project advances," 14 June 2019 Environment Secretary Michael Gove and Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt are among those aiming to catch him. Fox News, "UK Conservatives set to narrow field in leadership campaign," 13 June 2019 For this four-bedroom unit, interior designer Yerickson Nagy of the French furniture brand Roche Bobois aimed to create a sense of balance throughout the one-of-a-kind space. Monique Valeris, ELLE Decor, "Tour Stunning Residences Inside Zaha Hadid's One Thousand Museum," 13 June 2019 Where the media has failed and continues to fail is in its insistence that Trump is doing all of this, or any of it, for the same reason that other politicians are understood to have aimed to distract or chosen to lie. David Roth, The New Republic, "Making sense of Donald Trump's petulant reign," 12 June 2019 Overcoming methodological bias is an important part of D-Econ’s goals, as the group aims to dismantle the field’s theoretical hierarchy. Eshe Nelson, Quartz, "Economics needs to do more than attract women to solve its gender problem," 11 June 2019 Introduced by George Gallup in the late 1920s, presidential approval ratings aimed to gauge the level of public support for the sitting president at any given time during his presidency. Brendan Lind, The Conversation, "The most unpopular presidential election winner ever could win again in 2020," 10 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Amazon cloned an entire neighborhood, a dangerous hacker group takes aim at the US electrical grid, and the world remembers a running great. Alex Baker-whitcomb, WIRED, "Hackers Target US Power, Amazon Clones a Neighborhood, and More News," 14 June 2019 Newsom took aim at charter school enrollment with a proposal to ban the schools from requesting student’s academic records before they are admitted and encouraging students with poor grades or learning disabilities to transfer elsewhere. Alexei Koseff,, "Where Gov. Gavin Newsom wins and loses in newly passed California budget," 13 June 2019 Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders took aim at Jamie Dimon after the JPMorgan Chase CEO criticized socialism in a public appearance on Wednesday. Kate Gibson, CBS News, "Bernie Sanders says he didn't hear Jamie Dimon criticizing socialism during Wall St. bailout," 12 June 2019 The administration of President Donald Trump has taken aim at the H-1B and H-4, dramatically increasing the rate of denial for new H-1B visas — especially among outsourcers — and promising to scrap the H-4 work permit. Ethan Baron, The Mercury News, "H-1B visa: Government unlawfully delaying H-4 applications, lawsuit claims," 11 June 2019 The group took aim not just at Richard Nixon and Republicans but also at the Democratic establishment. Lily Geismer, Vox, "Democrats and neoliberalism," 11 June 2019 Then Kelly took aim at McVey's poor voting record on equality issues. Luke Mcgee, CNN, "A TV presenter summed up live on air what a lot of people think about British politics," 11 June 2019 The fight over the clinic's license comes as lawmakers in many conservative states, including Missouri, are passing new restrictions that take aim at Roe. Summer Ballentine And Jim Salter,, "Judge says Missouri's only abortion clinic can remain open for now," 10 June 2019 The fight over the clinic’s license comes as lawmakers in many conservative states, including Missouri, are passing new restrictions that take aim at Roe. Washington Post, "Judge says Missouri’s only abortion clinic can remain open," 10 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

18 Jun 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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behavior toward others

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