\ˈshim \

Definition of shim 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: a thin, often tapered piece of material (such as wood, metal, or stone) used to fill in space between things (as for support, leveling, or adjustment of fit)


shimmed; shimming

Definition of shim (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to fill out or level up by the use of a shim

Examples of shim in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

And while the information contained on the chip, and potentially the shim, can’t be used to clone a chip card, it can potentially be used to make a traditional magnetic strip card to empty your accounts, reported. Natalie Dreier, ajc, "How ‘shimming’ can steal your credit card data," 7 May 2018 Wooden shims wouldn’t stay put, so Perrin experimented with various designs using a 3D printer. Roger Showley,, "Amateur inventors right the world with solutions for back pain, broken windows, wobbly tables and inaccessible toilets," 27 Apr. 2018 Add staking or shims or any other method necessary to stabilize the disk from being blown or pushed over, then cover it all up with a lot of strap leaf plants. Maureen Gilmer, idahostatesman, "Standing disks add circle-of-life element to your garden | Idaho Statesman," 14 Mar. 2018 The coupe's rear seat, however, is more steeply angled and requires a shim to level the child seat. Greg Fink, Car and Driver, "2018 Audi S5 Coupe and Cabriolet," 31 Jan. 2018 No sitting still allowed, especially at the end, when audience members will learn the shim sham, a swing-era line dance. 718-463-7700, Ext. Laurel Graeber, New York Times, "Events for Children in NYC This Week," 11 Jan. 2018 Roy Inman Special to The Star Giving guests such options is important, said Bowyer, whose Snow Globe hits the shim mark. Anne Brockhoff, kansascity, "Low-alcohol, no-alcohol cocktails trending in KC | The Kansas City Star," 9 Jan. 2018 Conventional dampers set compression and rebound forces by controlling the flow of fluid through orifices with stacks of flexible shims. K.c. Colwell, Car and Driver, "Prime Cuts: We Cut Open a Multimatic Spool-Valve Damper to Reveal Its Secrets," 3 Nov. 2017 Unlike shims, this tweak won't last forever, as water and road dirt will wash it away eventually. Mike Allen, Popular Mechanics, "How to Fix Squeaky Brakes," 2 Oct. 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Spatial Relations Many European companies also offer base cabinets with adjustable legs that can be quickly leveled for faster, easier installation, instead of laboriously trimmed and shimmed, which is the traditional technique. Elle Decor Staff, ELLE Decor, "Cabinet Fever," 5 July 2012 The lower LATCH anchors are easy to connect and the rear door opening is wide, but extra support is required to shim the child seat level, and passengers up front will need to move forward to an uncomfortable position. Eric Stafford, Car and Driver, "2018 Toyota Corolla iM," 25 Aug. 2017 Shim up any low blocks with strips of asphalt roofing, cedar shingles or 2-in.-thick concrete patio block. Joseph Truini, Popular Mechanics, "How to Build a Shed, Colonial-Style," 19 Apr. 2017 Walls are shimmed up on small glass-phallus sculptures. The New Yorker, "Monica Bonvicini," 31 Mar. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'shim.' 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 shim


1860, in the meaning defined above


circa 1890, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for shim


origin unknown

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Time Traveler for shim

The first known use of shim was in 1860

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a nest or breeding place

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