\ 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 combination the 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


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


She has a trim figure. He keeps fit and trim by biking.


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

Sam's Club Tire and Battery Center associates will now use the innovative technology to help trim the tire recommendation process from around 30 minutes to under five minutes. Perri Ormont Blumberg, Southern Living, "Sam's Club Is Slashing the Tire Shopping Experience Down to Five Minutes," 14 June 2019 Following the camp, which runs Aug. 5-9, the USA roster will be trimmed to 12. Mike Singer, The Denver Post, "Nuggets forward Paul Millsap invited to USA Basketball training camp ahead of 2019 World Cup," 10 June 2019 The final roster for the FIBA Basketball World Cup will be trimmed to 12 players., "Portland Trail Blazers guards Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum expected to join USA Basketball training camp in August," 5 June 2019 For the aspirationally trim, fruit salad and orange juice are available for sale curbside. Juan Cristóbal Cobo, National Geographic, "This city bans cars every Sunday—and people love it," 27 Mar. 2019 Kona’s six-sided grille is trimmed in chrome and has a slightly curved side. Emma Jayne Williams, star-telegram, "Hyundai’s 2018 Kona small crossover starts at $19,500, offers all-wheel drive | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 19 May 2018 Using pizza cutter or chef’s knife, trim away and discard outer 1/2 inch of dough to make neat square. Washington Post, "Snack attack: Try crumbly, cheesy, buttery spiced crackers," 24 June 2019 Yet this form of liberation could also conveniently keep women trim and graceful. Natalia Mehlman Petrzela, The Atlantic, "The World That Jazzercise Built," 16 June 2019 The order also found peeling paint on portions of the exterior trim and loose litter on the front and rear porches. Frederick Melo, Twin Cities, "St. Paul officials order mayor’s rental home be repaired and registered vacant," 14 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The 2019 Ghibli is sold in two performance levels in rear- or all-wheel drive with trim themes of GranLusso (luxury) or GranSport. Mark Maynard, San Diego Union-Tribune, "2019 Maserati Ghibli S Q4: from savior to the sidelines," 7 July 2019 Extract and Install Getting the old radio box out sometimes means pulling trim pieces off first, so use trim-removal tools and be gentle. Ben Wojdyla, Popular Mechanics, "How to Revamp Your Car Stereo," 7 Nov. 2012 Henderson is a town of trim homes in quiet neighborhoods, where some residents work in factories such as an aluminum plant, a nearby coal mine or in the corn and soybean fields. Chris Kenning, The Courier-Journal, "What a Kentucky town's 20-year struggle with 'Fairness' says about rural LGBTQ rights," 21 June 2019 This collection was trying to be a lot of things—a supplier for low-slung camos, a source for baroque pleated evening skirts, a home for trim tuxedo looks, and so on. Emily Farra, Vogue, "Chris Benz Was at J.Crew During Its Glory Days—Can He Bring Them Back?," 11 June 2019 As anyone who has recently shopped for a new car will know, automakers will often differentiate trim packages with different headlights, and the best-performing rides are invariably locked up in the options list. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "This institute crash-tests cars to make us all safer," 29 May 2019 Keep in mind that specific discounts vary by region and may differ based on the trim level, and the manufacturer’s suggested retail price includes destination fees. Washington Post, "Edmunds: Discontinued cars offer value but should you buy?," 5 June 2019 Like other modern VWs, the air vents seem to spread across the entire dash thanks to clever trim pieces. Daniel Golson, Car and Driver, "The Volkswagen Golf Mark 8 Is Getting a Radical Interior Redesign," 15 May 2019 Powder room: Window trim paint, Inchyra Blue; wainscoting paint, Arsenic—Farrow & Ball; House Beautiful, "November 2017 Product Guide," 13 Oct. 2017

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

The interior trim is excellent, and there’s a luxury heft to all of the controls. Washington Post, "Edmunds: Upstart Genesis G70 holds its own with BMW 3 Series," 11 July 2019 Use the ’63 logo and the black trim on the away jerseys and never look back. Conor Orr,, "Which NFL Throwback Uniforms Should Make a Comeback?," 28 June 2019 The two entry models get a six-speed automatic, but a 10-speed automatic is paired with the upper trims. San Diego Union-Tribune, "$74,000 Ford F-150? Dearborn’s best, but love is blind," 22 June 2019 Instead, try using a deep conditioner and getting regular trims to prevent split ends. Jessica Teich, Good Housekeeping, "Do Silk Pillowcases Really Benefit Your Skin and Hair?," 22 June 2019 Which further confirms our initial hypothesis: an itty-bitty trim can be a total summer game-changer. Megan Decker,, "Hilary Duff Just Stepped Out With The Perfect Summer Haircut," 15 June 2019 Combined with the traditional AMG carbon-fiber and piano lacquer trim elements gives the roadster a touch of exclusivity. Andrew Wendler, Car and Driver, "The 2020 Mercedes-AMG GT R Roadster Costs Almost $27,000 More than the Coupe," 30 May 2019 The designer accessorized the space with frames from Aerin's line for Williams-Sonoma Home, whose edges echo the trim on the dresser. Hadley Keller, House Beautiful, "Vintage Wallpaper Makes a Teeny NYC Space the Perfect Nursery," 6 May 2019 See: the fluffy trim on Zuhair Murad’s off-the-shoulder gown and Naeem Khan’s feathered micro-mini. Emily Farra, Vogue, "The 8 Major Trends of the Spring 2020 Bridal Season," 17 Apr. 2019

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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Statistics for trim

Last Updated

14 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for trim

The first known use of trim was circa 1521

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More Definitions for trim



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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with trim

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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

Comments on trim

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food or victuals

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