\ 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

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 But the main issue is that SNAP is not intended to be a work program in the first place, Gundersen said, but instead aimed to address food insecurity within the United States. NBC News, "Trump administration proposal could cause millions to lose food stamps," 30 Nov. 2019 Related: The Avengers Loki aims to enslave humanity with the Tesseract cube so The Avengers unite to take him down. Sonja Haller, USA TODAY, "The best kids' movies to stream on Disney+, Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime in December," 29 Nov. 2019 His aimed his barbs at everything that crossed the flickering tube, from sports announcers to Finnish beer commercials to talk shows., "You're using a browser set to private or incognito mode.," 29 Nov. 2019 The payments were aimed at currying favor with certain lawmakers while circumventing lobbying disclosure rules, the source added. Ray Long,, "Ex-campaign worker settles federal lawsuit with House Speaker Michael Madigan’s political committees over sexual harassment claims against top staffer," 29 Nov. 2019 Its leaders are mostly a combination of dietitians, therapists, health and nutrition researchers, and fat-acceptance activists who aim to help people establish a healthy relationship with food and their body, regardless of size. Christine Byrne, Self, "How to Live Your Anti-Diet Values in a Weight-Obsessed World (Without Being a Jerk)," 27 Nov. 2019 Earlier this year, the group of investors aiming to bring a Major League Baseball team to Portland sought time to address the tricky transportation and zoning problems of the Terminal 2 port site, which sits northwest of the Fremont Bridge. oregonlive, "Portland Diamond Project backers get extension to study transportation issues of Port site," 27 Nov. 2019 More than a decade later, new sanctuary cities aiming to protect undocumented immigrants sprung up in response to the 9/11 security crackdown ushered in by the Bush administration. Teen Vogue, "A History of Sanctuary Cities in the United States," 27 Nov. 2019 Prieb said officers aim to recover as many firearms as possible. Fox News, "Chicago police have seized more than 10,000 guns in 2019 – one every 48 minutes," 26 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Wong told Thursday’s rally that the next aim is to expand global support by getting Britain and other Western nations to follow suit., "China furious, Hong Kong celebrates after US move on bills - The Boston Globe," 29 Nov. 2019 Wong told Thursday’s rally that the next aim is to expand global support by getting Britain and other Western nations to follow suit. Washington Post, "China furious, Hong Kong celebrates after US move on bills," 28 Nov. 2019 One aim of the 60-year-old pact is to keep Antarctica free of military activity (unlike the Arctic, which is teeming with it). The Economist, "The voyage of two icebreakers have been creating headlines in China," 28 Nov. 2019 The two aim to start the hiring process in February and look to bring on around 70 employees for the market and restaurant, Baldwin said. Taylor Deville,, "Catonsville’s 818 Market seeks public donations for nonprofits before expected mid-summer opening," 26 Nov. 2019 Those who deny the holocaust aim to encourage another one. Ashley Boucher,, "Sacha Baron Cohen Slams Facebook and Says Company Would Have Let Adolf Hitler Buy Political Ads," 26 Nov. 2019 But at the Twayn camp for the displaced near the town of Tal Tamr, some fear that the real aim is to push Kurdish people out of the area completely and change its ethnic makeup forever. Clarissa Ward, Salma Abdelaziz And Mohammed Hassan, CNN, "Father grabbed his 5 children and fled after US 'betrayed' his town," 26 Nov. 2019 The original aim of social media to weave our real-life social networks closer together has unraveled in the face of advertising and propaganda campaigns to increase engagement at any cost. Michael J. Coren, Quartz, "Former Facebook employees are creating Cocoon, a social media network for your family," 25 Nov. 2019 But Francis’ key aim is to tend to his tiny flock, which has grown exponentially more diverse in recent years. USA TODAY, "Pope Francis to push for nuclear disarmament during Japan visit," 24 Nov. 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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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

3 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Aim.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 9 December 2019.

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More Definitions for aim


How to pronounce AIM (audio)

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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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