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[rim] /rɪm/
the outer edge, border, margin, or brink of something, especially of a circular object.
any edge, margin, or frame added to or around a central object or area.
the outer circle of a wheel, attached to the hub by spokes.
a circular strip of metal forming the connection between an automobile wheel and tire, either permanently attached to or removable from the wheel.
a drive wheel or flywheel, as on a spinning mule.
Basketball. the metal ring from which the net is suspended to form the basket.
Journalism. the outer edge of a usually U -shaped copy desk, occupied by the copyreaders.
Compare slot1 (def 5b).
Metallurgy. (in an ingot) an outer layer of metal having a composition different from that of the center.
verb (used with object), rimmed, rimming.
to furnish with a rim, border, or margin.
(of a golf ball or putt) to roll around the edge of (a hole) but not go in.
Basketball. (of a basketball) to roll around (the rim of the basket) and not go in.
to coat or encrust the rim of (a glass):
Rim each cocktail glass with salt.
Origin of rim
before 1150; Middle English; Old English -rima (in compounds); cognate with Old Norse rimi raised strip of land, ridge
Related forms
rimless, adjective
1. lip, verge. Rim, brim refer to the boundary of a circular or curved area. A rim is a line or surface bounding such an area; an edge or border: the rim of a glass. Brim usually means the inside of the rim, at the top of a hollow object (except of a hat), and is used particularly when the object contains something: The cup was filled to the brim.
1. center. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for rims
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Parson Christian looked again over the rims of his spectacles.

    A Son of Hagar

    Sir Hall Caine
  • The rims of his ears are flat, and that is a sign that never fails.'

    Putois Anatole France
  • His hands were red from the cold water, and there were rims of earth in his nails.

    The Rainbow D. H. (David Herbert) Lawrence
  • They did not run a yard that the pilot wheels were not sunk to the rims in snow.

  • Their rims are bare outside, and in to an average depth of thirty feet from the crest.

    Mount Rainier

  • Blacken the brake and steering-wheel and the spokes and rims of the wheels.

    The Boy Craftsman A. Neely Hall
  • The grain must run straight in spokes, rims, shafts, and poles.

    American Forest Trees

    Henry H. Gibson
  • rims are usually heavy and flat, sometimes as wide as 1½ inches.

  • Six oval bits of shadow, outlined by rims of light; there is nothing else like it!

British Dictionary definitions for rims


the raised edge of an object, esp of something more or less circular such as a cup or crater
the peripheral part of a wheel, to which the tyre is attached
(basketball) the hoop from which the net is suspended
verb (transitive) rims, rimming, rimmed
to put a rim on (a pot, cup, wheel, etc)
(slang) to lick, kiss, or suck the anus of (one's sexual partner)
(ball games) (of a ball) to run around the edge of (a hole, basket, etc)
Word Origin
Old English rima; related to Old Saxon rimi, Old Norse rimi ridge


Mauritania (international car registration)
Word Origin
From République Islamique de Mauritanie
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for rims



Old English rima "edge, border, verge, coast," as in særima "seashore," literally "rim of the sea," and dægrima "dawn," literally "rim of the day." Related to Old Norse rime, rimi "a raised strip of land, ridge," Old Frisian rim "edge," but with no other known cognates. The snare drummer's rim shot (striking the rim and the head at once) is recorded from 1934.



1794, "to fit with a rim," from rim (n.). Sexual senses from 1920s, some perhaps influenced by ream (v.). Related: Rimmed; rimming.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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rims in Medicine

rim (rĭm)
The border, edge, or margin of an organ or a part.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Slang definitions & phrases for rims


Related Terms

on the rims



To lick or suck the anus (1959+ Homosexuals)

Related Terms


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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