- a thin slip or wedge of metal, wood, etc., for driving into crevices, as between machine parts to compensate for wear, or beneath bedplates, large stones, etc., to level them.
- to fill out or bring to a level by inserting a shim or shims.
Origin of shim
- a thin packing strip or washer often used with a number of similar washers or strips to adjust a clearance for gears, etc
- physics a thin strip of magnetic material, such as soft iron, used to adjust a magnetic field
- (tr) to modify a load, clearance, or magnetic field by the use of shims
Word Origin and History for shimming
1723, a Kentish word of unknown origin. Originally a piece of iron fitted to a plow for scraping soil; meaning "thin slip of wood to fill up a space or raise a level" is from 1860.
"to wedge up a surface by means of a shim," 1877, from shim (n.). Related: Shimmed; shimming.