View synonyms for aim



[ eym ]

verb (used with object)

  1. to position or direct (a firearm, ball, arrow, rocket, etc.) so that, on firing or release, the discharged projectile will hit a target or travel along a certain path.

    Synonyms: point

  2. to intend or direct for a particular effect or purpose:

    to aim a satire at snobbery.

verb (used without object)

  1. to point or direct a gun, punch, etc., toward:

    He aimed at the target but missed it.

  2. to strive; try (usually followed by to or at ):

    We aim to please.

    They aim at saving something every month.

  3. to intend:

    She aims to go tomorrow.

  4. to direct efforts, as toward an object:

    The satire aimed at modern greed.

  5. Obsolete. to estimate; guess.


  1. the act of aiming or directing anything at or toward a particular point or target.
  2. the direction in which a weapon or missile is pointed; the line of sighting:

    within the cannon's aim.

  3. the point intended to be hit; thing or person aimed at:

    to miss one's aim.

    Synonyms: objective, target

  4. something intended or desired to be attained by one's efforts; purpose:

    whatever his aim in life may be.

    Synonyms: design, intent, goal

  5. Obsolete. conjecture; guess.



[ eym ]


  1. American Indian Movement.



abbreviation for

  1. (in Britain) Alternative Investment Market



/ eɪm /


  1. to point (a weapon, missile, etc) or direct (a blow) at a particular person or object; level
  2. tr to direct (satire, criticism, etc) at a person, object, etc
  3. intr; foll by at or an infinitive to propose or intend

    we aim to leave early

  4. intr; often foll by at or for to direct one's efforts or strive (towards)

    to aim at better communications

    to aim high


  1. the action of directing something at an object
  2. the direction in which something is pointed; line of sighting (esp in the phrase to take aim )
  3. the object at which something is aimed; target
  4. intention; purpose

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Other Words From

  • aimer noun
  • aimful adjective
  • aimful·ly adverb
  • mis·aim verb noun
  • un·aimed adjective
  • un·aiming adjective
  • under·aim noun
  • under·aim verb
  • well-aimed adjective

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Word History and Origins

Origin of aim1

First recorded in 1275–1325; late Middle English aimen, from Anglo-French a(e)smer, eimer, from Old French aesmer, from Vulgar Latin adaestimāre (unrecorded), equivalent to Latin ad- ad- ( def ) + aestimāre ( estimate ( def ) ); replacing Middle English amen, from Old French (dialectal) amer, from Latin aestimāre

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Word History and Origins

Origin of aim1

C14: via Old French aesmer from Latin aestimāre to estimate

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Idioms and Phrases

  1. take aim, to sight a target:

    to take aim and fire.

More idioms and phrases containing aim

In addition to the idiom beginning with aim , also see take aim .

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Synonym Study

Aim, end, object all imply something that is the goal of one's efforts. Aim implies that toward which one makes a direct line, refusing to be diverted from it: a nobleness of aim; one's aim in life. End emphasizes the goal as a cause of efforts: the end for which one strives. Object emphasizes the goal as that toward which all efforts are directed: the object of years of study.

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Example Sentences

The aim is to cause a domino effect that disrupts the global food-supply chain.

The aim is to let users correlate meals with changes in blood glucose levels.

The WhatsApp lawsuit, meanwhile, has taken aim close to the heart of NSO’s business.

In the context of these crises, our primary aim should be for a system where people are not obligated to work to generate the means to survive.

The aim is to let users see “detailed information about all the ads they see on the web,” but it will need to get broad buy-in and implementation of Ad Disclosure schema to get there.

And, as Gow adds wryly from his own personal experience, “To a huge extent they achieved that aim very well.”

It will still carry a pair of Raytheon AIM-120 AMRAAM long-range air-to-air missiles and a pair of bombs.

Sometimes, they had a backup aim if their main goal fell through as the night dragged on.

The Raptor carries six AMRAAMs and two shorter range AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles inside its weapons bays.

To “link up the beachheads and peg out claims well inland” was necessarily the first aim of Overlord.

To reproduce the impulse born of the thought—this is the aim of a psychological method.

She is skilful in seizing salient characteristics, and her chief aim is to preserve the individuality of her sitters and models.

The next moment a pistol was fired at their head, and a deep groan shewed it had taken too true an aim.

The whole aim is to secure the development of character by the expression of the highest elements of character.

I have never seen him do anything, although a good act, that did not have a private aim.


Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

Idioms from The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.