\ 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

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb That said, brands should aim to work with influencers who are not only experienced in the Web3 space but those whose online presence aligns with brand values. Eran Nizri, Forbes, 3 May 2022 Companies should aim to prioritize sustainability initiatives in an industry that heavily relies on renewable and nonrenewable resources. Graham Farrar, Rolling Stone, 19 Apr. 2022 Second, the arrangement should aim to change Russian behavior–not just ease the consequences of Russian action. Patrick Jenevein, Fortune, 12 Apr. 2022 Investors and innovators should instead aim to disrupt health care’s legacy IT companies, which move slowly and keep providers operating in IT antiquity. Sean Doolan, STAT, 4 Apr. 2022 Especially in a time of economic uncertainty marked by rising inflation and ongoing supply-chain disruptions, any pro-parent agenda should aim to make the market for child care work better. Patrick T. Brown, National Review, 29 Mar. 2022 In the decades since, many institutions have adopted policies that go beyond just following the literal letter of the law and now aim to fulfill its broader intent. Zachariah Hughes, Anchorage Daily News, 29 Apr. 2022 Chief Product Officer Aparna Chennapragada says Robinhood’s education materials aim to be bite-sized and consumable as the company seeks to democratize trading. Jenna Telesca, WSJ, 28 Apr. 2022 Pre-production has begun on the film, and Pollock and his team aim to have the film completed by 2023. Beatrice Verhoeven, The Hollywood Reporter, 26 Apr. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Schmidt took aim Sunday at the family and Rick Davis, McCain's 2008 national campaign manager and the senator's longtime confidant. Yvonne Wingett Sanchez, The Arizona Republic, 10 May 2022 Saturday Night Live once again took aim at the Supreme Court’s alleged plans to overturn Roe v. Wade during Weekend Update. Ilana Kaplan, Rolling Stone, 8 May 2022 The appeals court, however, took aim at the waste of time and resources the city expended and suggested the police and prosecutors could have let the case go. Adam Ferrise, cleveland, 4 May 2022 As the takeover drama played out, its new proprietor publicly criticized the platform, took aim at senior Twitter executives who oversee speech rules on the service and needled Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Mr. Gates on the site. New York Times, 3 May 2022 POTSHOTS - Hunter Biden ripped Bill Clinton as an ‘a—hole’ who ‘looks like s—t’ in a 2016 email exchange and took aim at multiple Clinton aides in 2015 emails. Jack Durschlag, Fox News, 27 Apr. 2022 Williams also took aim at Thurston's hiring practices, particularly a former staffer who is now legal director at the American Civil Liberties Union. Rachel Herzog, Arkansas Online, 24 Apr. 2022 The response also took aim at Hoylman’s attorneys, who hail from the elite law firm Quinn Emanuel. Bill Donahue, Billboard, 22 Apr. 2022 The Daily Show host Trevor Noah also took aim at the decision to include the political figure. Ryan Gajewski, The Hollywood Reporter, 21 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

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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Last Updated

15 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Aim.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for aim


\ 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.

More from Merriam-Webster on aim

Nglish: Translation of aim for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of aim for Arabic Speakers


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