the upper edge of anything hollow; rim; brink: the brim of a cup.
a projecting edge: the brim of a hat.

verb (used without object), brimmed, brim·ming.

to be full to the brim.

verb (used with object), brimmed, brim·ming.

to fill to the brim.

Origin of brim

1175–1225; Middle English brimme brink, rim (earlier, shore, bank); apparently akin to Middle High German brem, (German Bräme), Old Norse barmr rim, edge
Related formsbrim·less, adjectivebrim·ming·ly, adverbun·brim·ming, adjective

Synonyms for brim

1. See rim.



noun, plural (especially collectively) brim, (especially referring to two or more kinds or species) brims.

Southern U.S. bream1(def 4). Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for brim

Contemporary Examples of brim

Historical Examples of brim

  • He took off his hat, and showed her where the brim had a jagged tear half an inch deep.

    Good Indian

    B. M. Bower

  • The hole had been recklessly filled to the brim, and was merely sprinkled with earth.

    Barnaby Rudge

    Charles Dickens

  • He sat up, and a look of alarm peered out from under the brim of his hat.

    The Law-Breakers

    Ridgwell Cullum

  • His thoughts were full to the brim with things that held them concentrated to the exclusion of all else.

    The Law-Breakers

    Ridgwell Cullum

  • But in spite of snow and sleet we filled our days to the brim.

British Dictionary definitions for brim



the upper rim of a vesselthe brim of a cup
a projecting rim or edgethe brim of a hat
the brink or edge of something

verb brims, brimming or brimmed

to fill or be full to the brimeyes brimming with tears
Derived Formsbrimless, adjective

Word Origin for brim

C13: from Middle High German brem, probably from Old Norse barmr; see berm
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

Word Origin and History for brim

c.1200, brymme "edge of the sea," of obscure origin, perhaps akin to Old Norse barmr "rim, brim," probably related to German bräme "margin, border, fringe," from PIE *bhrem- "point, spike, edge." (Old English had brim in the sense "sea, surf," but this probably was from the Germanic stem *brem- "to roar, rage.") Extended by 1520s to cups, basins, hats.


"to fill to the brim," 1610s, from brim (n.). Intransitive sense ("be full to the brim") attested from 1818. Related: Brimmed; brimming.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

brim in Medicine




The rim of the upper opening of the pelvis.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Idioms and Phrases with brim


see filled to the brim.

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