[ eym ]
See synonyms for aim on
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.

  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.

  1. to intend: She aims to go tomorrow.

  2. to direct efforts, as toward an object: The satire aimed at modern greed.

  3. 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.

  1. the point intended to be hit; thing or person aimed at: to miss one's aim.

  2. something intended or desired to be attained by one's efforts; purpose: whatever his aim in life may be.

  3. Obsolete. conjecture; guess.

Idioms about aim

  1. take aim, to sight a target: to take aim and fire.

Origin of aim

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- + aestimāre (see estimate); replacing Middle English amen, from Old French (dialectal) amer, from Latin aestimāre

synonym study For aim

11. 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.

Other words for aim

Other words from aim

  • aimer, noun
  • aimful, 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

Other definitions for AIM (2 of 2)

[ eym ]

  1. American Indian Movement. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use aim in a sentence

  • Here they called a halt for a time, and began to hunt vigorously in all directions, aiming at every species of game.

    Hunting the Lions | R.M. Ballantyne
  • The pastime consisted of riding on horseback and aiming a lance at one of the holes in the broad end of the crossbar.

  • His eyes were sighting along an instrument of his own devising as if he were aiming some super-gun of a great air cruiser.

  • And because of these thoughts he had stood irresolute, aiming without firing, and bidding his Mexicans do the same.

    Overland | John William De Forest
  • For greater secrecy of movement, we divided into small parties, aiming to traverse different roads.

British Dictionary definitions for aim (1 of 2)


/ (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

  1. (intr; foll by at or an infinitive) to propose or intend: we aim to leave early

  2. (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)

  1. the object at which something is aimed; target

  2. intention; purpose

Origin of aim

C14: via Old French aesmer from Latin aestimāre to estimate

British Dictionary definitions for AIM (2 of 2)


abbreviation for
  1. (in Britain) Alternative Investment Market

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with aim


In addition to the idiom beginning with aim

  • aim to

also see:

  • take aim

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