1

trim

verb \ ˈtrim \
Updated on: 21 Nov 2017

Definition of trim

trimmed; trimming
transitive verb
1 a : to remove by or as if by cutting
  • trimmed thousands from federal payrolls
  • Grit
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
3 a : to administer a beating to : thrash
b : defeat
  • trimmed me at chess
4 a (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
1 a : 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

Examples of trim in a Sentence

  1. The hedges need to be trimmed.

  2. They are looking for ways to trim the budget.

  3. We trimmed the Christmas tree.

  4. a pillow trimmed in lace

Recent Examples of trim from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of 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 1tree


2

trim

adjective

Definition of trim

trimmer; trimmest
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

trimly

adverb

trimness

noun

Examples of trim in a Sentence

  1. She has a trim figure.

  2. He keeps fit and trim by biking.

Recent Examples of trim from the Web

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


3

trim

adverb

Definition of trim

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

First Known Use of trim

1529


4

trim

noun

Definition of trim

1 : a haircut that neatens a previous haircut
2 a : material used for ornament or trimming
b : the woodwork in the finish of a building especially around openings
c : the interior furnishings of an automobile
d : one's clothing or appearance
3 : suitable or excellent condition
  • tries to keep in trim
4 a : 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

Examples of trim in a Sentence

  1. a skirt with lace trim

  2. the doctor declared her to be in good trim for the race

Recent Examples of trim from the Web

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 1593

trim Synonyms

Other Automotive Terms


Trim

geographical name \ ˈtrim \

Definition of Trim

town in eastern Ireland area population 8268
Note: Trim is the capital of County Meath.


TRIM Defined for English Language Learners

trim

verb

Definition of trim for English Language Learners

  • : 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

Definition of trim for English Language Learners

  • : neat and orderly

  • : slim and healthy


trim

noun

Definition of trim for English Language Learners

  • : 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 Defined for Kids

1

trim

verb \ ˈtrim \

Definition of trim for Students

trimmed; trimming
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

trimmer

noun

Headscratcher for trim

If you're trimming something, you could be adding to it or taking away from it. Trim can mean cutting off and getting rid of anything extra, such as branches from a bush, or it can mean adding decorations, such as to a present.


2

trim

adjective

Definition of trim for Students

trimmer; trimmest
: neat and compact in line or structure
  • a trim house
  • She maintains a trim figure.

trimly

adverb

3

trim

noun

Definition of trim for Students

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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