trim

verb
\ ˈtrim \
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

trim

adjective
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

trim

adverb

Definition of trim (Entry 3 of 5)

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

trim

noun

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

Trim

geographical name
\ ˈtrim \

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

Adjective

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

Add ½ teaspoon salt and ½ pound broccoli rabe (about half of a medium bunch), thick ends trimmed, and cook until just wilted, about 1 minute. Adam Ried, BostonGlobe.com, "Recipes: Switch it up with lamb burgers instead of beef," 13 July 2018 The package also brought Dark Chrome exterior trim, license plate finisher, and 20-inch wheels; open-pore wood-tone interior trim; and Platinum Reserve badging. Emma Jayne Williams, star-telegram, "Nissan Armada full-size SUV has plentyof room for the family, lots of technology," 17 June 2018 This trimmed the opera’s considerable length and clarified its central point in a modern context: When macho Thésée attempts to meddle with Fate, Diane asserts the prerogative of the gods—and goddesses—to determine mortal destinies. Heidi Waleson, WSJ, "French Opera Takes Over New York," 23 Apr. 2018 Bronin has also trimmed about $2 million from city departments, and budgeted for $10 million in labor savings. Jenna Carlesso, Courant Community, "Five Takeaways From Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin's New Budget," 17 Apr. 2018 Trees were just immaculately trimmed, and the grass and all the flowers. Jennifer Willis/special To The Oregonian, OregonLive.com, "Looking back on 'a very good marriage' of nearly 70 years," 2 Apr. 2018 The looks are a little too on the nose for sporting in everyday life in 2018—though with a couple tweaks, trims, and extra embroidery, these could well be mistaken for Gucci. Jake Woolf, GQ, "Migos and Drake Embrace Outlandish ’70s Style in “Walk It Talk It”," 19 Mar. 2018 But his overriding foreign policy message was, nevertheless, that America should trim its imperial sails, and reallocate resources to the home front. Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "U.S. Not Planning to Contribute Money to Iraq Reconstruction: Report," 8 Feb. 2018 Hurt, who averaged 18 points and seven rebounds in those two contests, is focusing on his team's three weeks of games before trimming that list of schools at the end of the month. Jeff Greer, The Courier-Journal, "He has local ties, but U of L faces tough competition for Matthew Hurt," 14 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The interiors of both look great, with soft touch materials on nearly every surface, ambient lighting and attractive concave trim panels with unusual trim that looked like three-dimensional pieces of metal. Mark Phelan, Detroit Free Press, "2019 Volvo XC40 SUV has wireless phone charging, carryout bag hook," 23 May 2018 That extra coin gets you the second-best trim level Chevy offers, along with heated front seats with leather trim, remote start and other goodies. Robert Duffer, chicagotribune.com, "Review: 2017 Chevy Cruze puts diesel back on track with great highway fuel economy," 2 May 2017 Keeping himself trim and fit turned into a healthy and happy lifestyle. Johnny Gorches, Post-Tribune, "'I'm so lucky and blessed': Portage's Buster Battreall gives up basketball, becomes nationally known with Ford Models," 14 July 2018 The noses of the half-ton differ according to trim levels as well as available chrome, black or monochromatic appearance packages. Jeff Yip, Houston Chronicle, "Ram scores first strike as roomier, cushier all-new 2019 Ram 1500 begins shipping," 26 Mar. 2018 Now through the end of the month, Hyundai is offering $2,000 off most trim levels. Kelsey Mays, USA TODAY, "Buying a new car? Here are the four best deals," 19 Feb. 2018 Other changes include a 450-pound weight reduction despite a bigger interior and eight trim levels with a wide range of grilles and lights. Mark Phelan, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit auto show: 10 vehicles you must see," 19 Jan. 2018 First offered in the refreshed 2015 model, the XSE is the most sporting of five trim levels. Robert Duffer, chicagotribune.com, "Lights, Camry, action: 2018 Toyota Camry is anything but boring," 29 Aug. 2017 Chinese government officials tend to be circumspect, but Hao, a trim man in his sixties, spoke with the freedom of someone accustomed to authority. Steven Strogatz, The New Yorker, "Can Wine Transform China’s Countryside?," 4 Feb. 2013

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

Jack was tasked with painting the trim on the second-floor windows. Mike Kerrigan, WSJ, "Summer Jobs Teach Real-World Lessons," 31 May 2018 The automaker revealed a teaser image of one of the all-new pickups in Z71 off-road trim on Tuesday, but no details about their specifications or capabilities. Fox News, "New Chevrolet Silverado 2500 and 3500 HD pickups coming in 2020," 10 Apr. 2018 Inside, the quiet cabin has gorgeously rich wood trim on the dash, doors and massive center console, which has an open storage area beneath it for handbags. Robert Duffer, chicagotribune.com, "2018 Lincoln Navigator outdoes Cadillac Escalade as most refined family hauler," 5 Mar. 2018 There’s a bit more chrome trim on the Enclave, including a strip setting off the roofline from the rest of the vehicle. Eric Bangeman, Ars Technica, "Review: Buick aims high, falls short with $60,000 Enclave Avenir," 2 Mar. 2018 Even the red-leather interior seats (which often look outré in sedans) and dark gray oak-wood trim on the dashboard and doors looked and felt great. Hannah Elliott, Bloomberg.com, "The Alfa Romeo Giulia Ti Is a Fancy Sedan for People Tired of Fancy Sedans," 22 Jan. 2018 Pink hues in the grapefruit rind in particular, invite the playful use of coral in the metal seating and in the subtle trim on the Dot and Army napkins. Jennifer Fernandez, ELLE Decor, "A Simple Centerpiece Is The Secret To This Lush Spring Table," 27 Apr. 2017 The Reds will wear white with a checked print, with grey sleeves and red trim, keeping in tradition with familiar away and third kit designs seen in years gone by. SI.com, "PHOTO: Liverpool Unveil Trendy New Third Kit Ahead of 2018/19 Season," 12 July 2018 The third-floor bus deck has ceiling trim still to be snapped into place, but the signs for the 37 bus bays have all been installed. John King, SFChronicle.com, "S.F.’s long-awaited Salesforce Transit Center sets opening date for Aug. 12," 10 July 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

Verb

circa 1521, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 2

Adjective

circa 1521, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adverb

1529, in the meaning defined above

Noun

circa 1593, in the meaning defined at sense 3

History and Etymology for trim

Verb

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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Learn More about trim

Phrases Related to trim

in trim

trim down

Statistics for trim

Last Updated

8 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for trim

The first known use of trim was circa 1521

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More Definitions for trim

trim

verb

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

trim

adjective

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

: neat and orderly

: slim and healthy

trim

noun

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

trim

verb
\ ˈtrim \
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

trim

adjective
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

trim

noun

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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Comments on trim

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