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

Definition of trim

 (Entry 1 of 5)

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 5)

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 5)

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



Definition of trim (Entry 4 of 5)

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


geographical name
\ ˈtrim How to pronounce Trim (audio) \

Definition of Trim (Entry 5 of 5)

town in eastern Ireland area population 8268

Note: Trim is the capital of County Meath.

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Much of their childhood was spent outside, drinking water from a spigot and playing ball until dark, and eventually Mr. Baker trimmed down and became a good athlete in his own right. Richard Fausset, New York Times, "A Lifetime of Running With Ahmaud Arbery Ends With a Text: ‘We Lost Maud’," 10 May 2020 Like many of its rivals, the carrier does not expect global aviation to recover from the pandemic for several years, and is planning a restructuring program that would trim its fleet by 13% and could result in as many as 10,000 job cuts. Hanna Ziady, CNN, "Germany could rescue Lufthansa with $10 billion bailout," 7 May 2020 Just save whatever pieces came out whole (and eat the stuck scraps), trim off their raggedy edges and wrap them up to gift. Los Angeles Times, "This perfect pound cake goes back to basics," 23 Apr. 2020 After trimming and buffing your nails, simply apply a few drops of the cuticle oil and rub them in. Christie Calucchia, Better Homes & Gardens, "This $15 Cuticle Oil Will Upgrade Your DIY Manicure," 21 Apr. 2020 Extended wheel wells, trimmed in black, accommodated the suspension’s generous wheel travel and emphasized the new 16-inch machined six-spoke alloy wheels with black pockets. Tribune News Service, cleveland, "Key upgrades for 2020 help to keep Toyota Tacoma in front of the pack (review)," 11 Apr. 2020 Divide crowded bunchgrasses by trimming the tops down, digging, and slicing through the root ball; replant and water deeply. Heather Arndt Anderson, Sunset Magazine, "Your Ultimate Spring Gardening To-Do List for March and April," 16 Mar. 2020 By displacing some of that fossil fuel, the hydrogen trims carbon emissions from the community’s furnaces, hot-water heaters and stove tops by up to 7 percent. Peter Fairley, Scientific American, "Solar and Wind Power Could Ignite a Hydrogen Energy Comeback," 1 Feb. 2020 The fireplace, mantel, walls, and trim all share the same color for a dramatic look that sets the stage for a cozy Christmas. Chelsea Evers, Country Living, "12 Best Green Paint Colors That'll Liven Up Any Room," 25 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The rapid spread of the coronavirus has prompted a raft of Australian and New Zealand companies to abandon earnings guidance and trim targets for the 2020 fiscal year as firms look to deal with the impact of lockdowns and social distancing. Tim Smith,, "Here’s How the Virus Is Impacting Australian Firms," 6 May 2020 The tasteful application of the exterior themes continues inside, with finishes of premium metallic and high-contrast stitching and two-tone trim colors throughout the cabin. Sue Mead, Houston Chronicle, "2020 Nissan Pathfinder and a race to get home," 21 Apr. 2020 Constructed in 2006, the energy-efficient two-story home features approximately 4,900 square feet of living space, trim detail throughout and spacious rooms, including a living area with a woodburning rock fireplace and a game room. Dallas News, "East Texas property offers acreage, home," 9 Feb. 2020 For instance, foreign steel is often used for exterior trim pieces on a vehicle and electric-car motors. Adrienne Roberts, WSJ, "The Many Ways Trump’s Trade Disputes Are Affecting the Auto Industry," 19 July 2018 The Grand Cherokee will be significantly longer than the trim little Stelvio, though. Daniel Pund, Car and Driver, "2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee Will Be New for the First Time in a Decade," 8 Apr. 2020 Add trim pieces to the base of the pole box, with the shorter pieces inside the longer pieces. Lucy Wendel, Better Homes & Gardens, "How to Build a Custom Mailbox," 6 Apr. 2020 That said, the number of driver assistance systems depends on trim level, with the LX being deprived of most. cleveland, "2021 Kia Seltos is a string new contender among affordable compact SUVs (review)," 29 Feb. 2020 Finger-jointed trim stock is often made from poplar. James Dulley, Dallas News, "Jazz up your dining room," 5 Jan. 2020 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, "Work from home wardrobe: The professional shirts and comfy sweatpants you need," 15 Apr. 2020 Eliminating the resources that are underutilized, making the budget as trim as possible. Alec Johnson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Merton School Board candidates debate budget priorities, school safety, community engagement," 28 Feb. 2018 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Salon and barber shop owners in San Antonio who reopened today said they’ve been overwhelmed with calls, emails and messages from clients eager to get trims and touch-ups. Madison Iszler,, "Shaggy customers eagerly return to San Antonio salons, barber shops," 8 May 2020 Our example also featured the $2200 Black Optic package that brings gloss-black exterior trim and sharp-looking 20-inch wheels wrapped with Continental ContiSportContact 5P summer tires. Eric Stafford, Car and Driver, "2020 Audi S5 Sportback Strikes Just the Right Compromise," 30 Apr. 2020 Stick to a simple trim and leave the drastic cuts to the pros. Lindy Segal, Harper's BAZAAR, "How to Cut Your Hair at Home, According to a Celeb Hairstylist," 3 Apr. 2020 Floral Headpiece, the Masked Observer’s social secretary, was particularly a’flutter at the sight of sailor Sam, the son of a Neptune’s Daughter, and a trim and true specimen, who is stationed in Norfolk, Virginia. al, "Masked Observer: Neptune’s Daughters shake, shimmy and salute," 24 Feb. 2020 The Pontiac is missing chrome grille trim and likely has damage to the headlamp, hood or bumper. Jordyn Noennig, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Hit-and-run driver strikes and kills bicyclist early Sunday morning at N. 35th and Meinecke," 26 Jan. 2020 But again, these are almost all trims and liners, not actual parts. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "Ford Is Making Car Parts from McDonald's Coffee Waste," 4 Dec. 2019 Design updates touch almost every area of the body, including the front bumper, hood, headlights, front fenders, rear bumper trim and rear lights. Emma Jayne Williams,, "BMW updates the 7-Series sedan line for 2020; plug-in hybrid model added," 3 Dec. 2019 Fasten the planks with 2 1⁄2-inch-long trim-head deck screws. Joseph Truini, Popular Mechanics, "A Movable Feast: Building Your Own Picnic Table," 25 Apr. 2020

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.

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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

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Time Traveler for trim

Time Traveler

The first known use of trim was circa 1521

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Statistics for trim

Last Updated

18 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Trim.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for trim


How to pronounce Trim (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of trim

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: to cut (something) off something else : to remove (something) by cutting
: to make (something) neat by cutting it
: to make the size, amount, or extent of (something) smaller

English Language Learners Definition of trim (Entry 2 of 3)

: neat and orderly
: slim and healthy



English Language Learners Definition of trim (Entry 3 of 3)

: an act of trimming something (such as hair)
: material (such as ribbons, lace, etc.) that is used for decorating something especially around its edges


\ 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 She maintains a trim figure.

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.

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More from Merriam-Webster on trim

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for trim

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with trim

Spanish Central: Translation of trim

Nglish: Translation of trim for Spanish Speakers

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

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