\ ˈtrim How to pronounce trim (audio) \
trimmed; trimming

Definition of trim

 (Entry 1 of 4)

transitive verb

1a : to remove by or as if by cutting trimmed thousands from federal payrollsGrit
b : to make trim and neat especially by cutting or clipping trim the hedges
c : to free of excess or extraneous matter by or as if by cutting trim a budget trim down the inventory
2 : to embellish with or as if with ribbons, lace, or ornaments trim the Christmas tree the coat was trimmed with fur
3a : to administer a beating to : thrash
b : defeat trimmed me at chess
4a(1) : to cause (a ship) to assume a desirable position in the water by arrangement of ballast, cargo, or passengers
(2) : to adjust (something, such as an airplane or submarine) for horizontal movement or for motion upward or downward
b : to adjust (something, such as cargo or a sail) to a desired position

intransitive verb

1a : to maintain neutrality between opposing parties or to favor each equally
b : to change one's views for reasons of expediency
2 : to assume or cause a boat to assume a desired position in the water a boat that trims badly
trim one's sails
: to adjust oneself or one's actions to prevailing conditions compromise or trim your sails to suit the political winds— Philip Johnston


trimmer; trimmest

Definition of trim (Entry 2 of 4)

1 : exhibiting neatness, good order, or compactness of line or structure a trim beard trim lawns … a trim, well-built beach house not far from a spanking new superhighway.The Saturday Review
2 : slim and physically fit kept himself trim by biking every day His lithe student, trim in a tennis dress, watched while holding her racquet on her shoulder.— E. L. Doctorow
3 : ready for service or use
4 obsolete : excellent, fine



Definition of trim (Entry 3 of 4)

: in a trim manner : trimly used chiefly in combination the trim-cut forest vistas— W. M. Thackeray



Definition of trim (Entry 4 of 4)

1 : a haircut that neatens a previous haircut
2a : material used for ornament or trimming
b : the material (such as wood, stone, or vinyl) in the finish of a building especially around openings But now, marble is back in style with a vengeance, in demand for building facades, interior trim and finishes.— David Roberts In home building, carpenters build the house framework, frame the roof and interior partitions, and install doors, windows, flooring, cabinets, wood paneling, and molding and trim.Occupational Outlook Handbook
c : the interior furnishings of an automobile
d : one's clothing or appearance
3 : suitable or excellent condition tries to keep in trim
4a : the position of a ship or boat especially with reference to the horizontal also : the difference between the draft of a ship forward and that aft
b : the relation between the plane of a sail and the direction of the ship
c : the buoyancy status of a submarine
d : the attitude of a lighter-than-air craft relative to a fore-and-aft horizontal plane
e : the attitude with respect to wind axes at which an airplane will continue in level flight with free controls
5 : something that is trimmed off or cut out

Other Words from trim


trimly adverb
trimness noun

Examples of trim in a Sentence

Verb The hedges need to be trimmed. They are looking for ways to trim the budget. We trimmed the Christmas tree. a pillow trimmed in lace Adjective She has a trim figure. He keeps fit and trim by biking. Noun a skirt with lace trim the doctor declared her to be in good trim for the race See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb It’s not easy to determine our intentions and purposes in life, much less to trim them down to just the essentials. Shirin Etessam, Forbes, 17 May 2022 The awards followed efforts by companies in 2020 to trim executive salaries to demonstrate solidarity with investors and employees during early-pandemic layoffs. Kristin Broughton, WSJ, 17 May 2022 Just keep in mind that the gloss finish is recommended for small projects, like windows, doors, and trim. Barbara Bellesi Zito, Better Homes & Gardens, 16 May 2022 After spending the last four months feverishly trying to trim down on an overcrowded calendar ahead of their move to the Big 12, BYU lost its 2023 season-opener on Thursday. Kevin Reynolds, The Salt Lake Tribune, 16 May 2022 The last thing to do is to trim the political coverage… Please keep up the hard-hitting investigative journalism work. cleveland, 14 May 2022 But the app vanished altogether in Windows 10, replaced by a totally new app called Voice Recorder, which can record and trim basic sound recordings and save them as m4a files. Andrew Cunningham, Ars Technica, 11 May 2022 Before the trip, Carman altered the boat by removing two forward bulkheads and trim tabs from the transom of the hull, the indictment states. Lisa Rathke, Hartford Courant, 11 May 2022 The '23 Range Rover Sport ranges from $84,350 for the base SE trim to $122,850 for the V-8–powered First Edition. Eric Stafford, Car and Driver, 10 May 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective While Toyota detailed all the new content that's available on the '23 Tacoma, the company didn't announce pricing for the trim levels or the new packages. Eric Stafford, Car and Driver, 17 May 2022 In addition to the two different pack sizes, there are four trim levels to choose from. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, 12 May 2022 The standard Jetta comes in four trim levels: S, Sport (replacing last year's R-Line), SE, and SEL. Joe Lorio, Car and Driver, 6 May 2022 Hyundai says that this image shows the top-of-the-line Calligraphy model; the new version should still be available in SE, SEL, and Limited trim levels too. Joey Capparella, Car and Driver, 6 Apr. 2022 That is only available on the 3LT, the highest trim level offered on the Corvette. Jamie L. Lareau, Detroit Free Press, 23 Mar. 2022 That should deliver between 285-300 miles (459-482 km) of range for a front-wheel-drive Ariya, depending on trim level and wheel size. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, 23 Mar. 2022 Digital instruments are standard; the European ID.Buzz gets either 10-inch or 12-inch touchscreen displays, depending on trim level. Mike Duff, Car and Driver, 9 Mar. 2022 Upper trim levels offer a six-speed manual transmission, head-up display, and wireless charging. Elana Scherr, Car and Driver, 10 Mar. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb Sturdy but comfortable, this 1901 shirt is trim-tailored and comes in two colors, Grey Magnet Oxford and Blue White Bengal Stripe. Alicia Kortendick, al, 15 Apr. 2020 Eliminating the resources that are underutilized, making the budget as trim as possible. Alec Johnson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 28 Feb. 2018 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The ceramic model is smaller, with a 1.3-inch display and comes in this white color with gold trim. Ben Sin, Forbes, 19 May 2022 But the reason to go for this car, with this trim, is performance. Christian De Looper, BGR, 13 May 2022 In the dining room, breezy neutral drapes with playful onion-tassel trim finish the room. Marni Elyse Katz,, 12 May 2022 The senator marched directly, wearing a flowing maroon dress with dark-navy trim, a simple bronze headpiece holding her hair tightly in a bun. Barbara Vandenburgh, USA TODAY, 4 May 2022 The 818 Tequila founder wore a shaggy brown coat with light brown faux-fur trim. Chelsey Sanchez, Harper's BAZAAR, 2 May 2022 And for fans of color, Big Chill’s retro-style stove comes in pastel green with a brushed copper trim, and Bertazzoni’s ranges are coated in sleek automotive paint inspired by Italian racing cars. Julie Lasky, ELLE Decor, 27 Apr. 2022 Against the back of the kitchen, the designers sated the wife’s love of cooking while also creating visual contrast with a 48-inch ILVE Nostalgie Italian range in matte graphite with brass trim. Caron Golden, San Diego Union-Tribune, 23 Apr. 2022 The bottles quickly snap into place, no twisting required, and feature an upscale-looking design with metal trim., 15 Apr. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'trim.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of trim


circa 1521, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 2


circa 1521, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1529, in the meaning defined above


circa 1593, in the meaning defined at sense 3

History and Etymology for trim


probably from Middle English *trimmen to prepare, put in order, from Old English trymian, trymman to strengthen, arrange, from trum strong, firm; probably akin to Old English trēo tree, wood — more at tree entry 1

Buying Guide

Our Reviews team has selected the best beard trimmers.

Learn More About trim

Dictionary Entries Near trim




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for trim

Last Updated

19 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Trim.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for trim


\ ˈtrim How to pronounce trim (audio) \
trimmed; trimming

Kids Definition of trim

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : to put decorations on : adorn The dress is trimmed in lace.
2 : to make neat especially by cutting or clipping He trimmed his beard.
3 : to free of unnecessary matter We need to trim our expenses.
4 : to adjust (as a sail) to a desired position

Other Words from trim

trimmer noun


trimmer; trimmest

Kids Definition of trim (Entry 2 of 3)

: neat and compact in line or structure a trim house

Other Words from trim

trimly adverb



Kids Definition of trim (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : material used for ornament or trimming The jacket has fake fur trim.
2 : the woodwork in the finish of a building especially around doors and windows
3 : an act or instance of cutting or clipping I'm going to the barber for a trim.

Trim geographical name

\ ˈtrim How to pronounce Trim (audio) \

Definition of Trim

town in eastern Ireland area population 8268

Note: Trim is the capital of County Meath.

More from Merriam-Webster on trim

Nglish: Translation of trim for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of trim for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about trim


Test Your Vocabulary

Name That Color

  • a light greenish blue color
  • Name that color:
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!