\ 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 The company has already expanded from about 1,400 tree-trimming contractors to more than 5,400 last year. J.d. Morris,, "Judge presses PG&E for more details on power line inspections, tree trimming," 19 Feb. 2020 The bank trimmed its benchmark Selic rate by a quarter percentage point as expected, to 4.25%, continuing the series of record-breaking cuts launched in 2016, when the Selic was at 14.25%. Jeffrey T. Lewis, WSJ, "Brazil’s Central Bank Cuts Benchmark Rate to 4.25%, Signals End to Cuts," 5 Feb. 2020 Phoenix trimmed the lead down to one, 107-106, as Oubre hit a 3 with 12.5 seconds left, but Shai Gilgeous-Alexander answered with two free throws with seven seconds. Duane Rankin, azcentral, "Chris Paul ignores boos, sinks Phoenix Suns with clutch play in Oklahoma City Thunder win," 31 Jan. 2020 Frazier recently trimmed his recruiting focus to four schools: Arkansas, Auburn, Alabama and Texas Tech. Joseph Hoyt, Dallas News, "5 storylines to watch on National Signing Day, including two of the more surprising standouts to emerge from the 2020 class," 30 Jan. 2020 Apple also trimmed the prices for some iPhones compared to 2018 models. Aaron Pressman, Fortune, "Apple’s iPhone sales roar back to life after years of slowing growth," 29 Jan. 2020 Investors seem to like the expense-trimming, though. Jon Chesto,, "A role for employers in battling opioid scourge," 22 Jan. 2020 Once a week, the mower rides the circumference of the lawn to make a specific edge-trimming pass, which lightens your weed whacking load. Roy Berendsohn, Popular Mechanics, "The Best Robot Mowers to Take Care of the Lawn for You," 17 Jan. 2020 More seats on planes Trippe trimmed seat sizes and increased seating capacity so that planes could carry more people at a lower price. Ramsey Qubein, Condé Nast Traveler, "How Pan Am Created the Modern Economy Class," 26 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective This new trim level will go on sale this fall as a 2021. Colin Beresford, Car and Driver, "2021 Toyota Highlander Adds Sporty XSE Trim. No, Not Ironically.," 6 Feb. 2020 Americans increasingly opt for SUVs and trucks over sedans, then spring for higher trim levels and more features than in the past, says Ronald Montoya, senior consumer advice editor for car comparison site Edmunds. Washington Post, "Liz Weston: When leasing a car is the more frugal option," 30 Dec. 2019 Roman Khaykin, the Russian, was short and trim and bald, with a snub nose and dark eyes. Ronan Farrow, The New Yorker, "The Black Cube Chronicles: The Private Investigators," 7 Oct. 2019 Climate-friendly startups in Norway are bankrolled by the state oil fund SEVERAL TIMES a year neighbours in Norway get together to sweep leaves, trim bushes, weed flowerbeds and fix up their communal areas. The Economist, "Green tomorrow Why every Norwegian ecowarrior has 200,000 petrodollars," 6 Feb. 2020 The light is associated with the stabilizer trim system, which raises and lowers the plane's nose. Chris Isidore, CNN, "A new software glitch was discovered on Boeing's 737 Max," 6 Feb. 2020 The half-dozen trim choices are the base LS, LT, Premier, RST, Z71 and the High Country. Jeff Yip, Houston Chronicle, "Upcoming Chevy Corvette, Tahoe among highlights of Houston Auto Show," 24 Jan. 2020 The final class contained a single individual: a dapper older man wearing a suit, necktie, and pocket square, with a trim beard. Richard Brookhiser, National Review, "The Way We Work Now," 23 Jan. 2020 Just place it on the trim lumber, and transfer the length with marks. James Dulley, Dallas News, "Do your own finish carpentry to lower costs," 12 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb 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 Happily, Toyota isn't gating most of the advanced driver assists and safety features in the more expensive trim levels. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "The 2020 Toyota Prius Prime plug-in proves pleasing, perhaps pedestrian," 14 Jan. 2020 There are four other trim levels besides the first edition. Phoebe Wall Howard, Detroit Free Press, "Ford dealership gets 40 orders for Mustang Mach-E in one night," 2 Jan. 2020 There are also three different grille designs between different trim levels, so choose your own adventure there. Ezra Dyer, Popular Mechanics, "The Six Best Trucks You Can Buy Right Now," 26 Nov. 2019 The singer appears to have gotten a cut and color by stylist Sally Hershberger to fix the original messy trim. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Miley Cyrus Looks So Different with Short Blonde Hair," 26 Nov. 2019 The five-passenger Gladiator is available in four trim levels with base prices ranging from $33,545 to $43,545. Arv Voss, Houston Chronicle, "2020 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon: Part truck and mountain goat," 15 Nov. 2019 There are four trim levels for 2020 — Pure, Luxe, Sport and Red Sport — in rear- or all-wheel drive with a seven-speed automatic transmission. Mark Maynard, San Diego Union-Tribune, "2020 Infiniti Q50 Red Sport 400: treading a thin line," 13 Oct. 2019 Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard, and up to four USB ports and a wireless phone-charging slot are available on upper trim levels. Larry Printz, Dallas News, "The 2020 Subaru Outback is a family hauling staple, even after six generations," 10 Aug. 2019 The higher trim levels are the SE ($26,750 for front drive or $28,050 with 4Motion; SEL ($31,090, front drive; $32,390, 4Motion); and SEL Premium ($36,250, front-drive; $37,550, 4Motion). star-telegram, "VW’s second-generation Tiguan crossover starts at $24,595, has room for up to seven," 23 June 2018

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

24 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Trim.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Feb. 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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