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.
verb (used with object), shimmed, shim·ming.
to fill out or bring to a level by inserting a shim or shims.
Origin of shim
First recorded in 1715–25; origin uncertain
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
British Dictionary definitions for shimming
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
verb shims, shimming or shimmed
(tr) to modify a load, clearance, or magnetic field by the use of shims
Word Origin for shim
C18: origin unknown
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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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.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper