verb (used with object)

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.
to intend or direct for a particular effect or purpose: to aim a satire at snobbery.

verb (used without object)



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

Origin of aim

1275–1325; late Middle English aimen < Anglo-French a(e)smer, eimer, Old French aesmer < Vulgar Latin *adaestimāre, equivalent to Latin ad- ad- + aestimāre (see estimate); replacing Middle English amen < Old French (dial.) amer < Latin aestimāre
Related formsaim·er, nounaim·ful, adjectiveaim·ful·ly, adverbmis·aim, verb, nounun·aimed, adjectiveun·aim·ing, adjectiveun·der·aim, nounun·der·aim, verbwell-aimed, adjective

Synonyms for aim

1. point. 8. sighting. 10. target, objective. 11. goal; intent, design.

Synonym study

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. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for well-aimed

Contemporary Examples of well-aimed

Historical Examples of well-aimed

  • One well-aimed blow, and there should be an end to Messer Ramiro.

    The Shame of Motley

    Raphael Sabatini

  • A well-aimed discharge could not have failed to kill a score of them at least.

  • The chimney of the house had collapsed from a well-aimed obus.

  • A series of humorous and well-aimed thrusts at the follies of the times.

    Rose Clark

    Fanny Fern

  • Well-aimed shots will pierce it; a bomb from above may set it on fire.

    The Aeroplane

    Claude Grahame-White and Harry Harper

British Dictionary definitions for well-aimed


adjective (well aimed when postpositive)

(of a missile, punch, etc) having been pointed or directed accurately at a person or objecta well-aimed, precise blow
(of a comment, criticism, etc) obviously and accurately directed at a person, object, etca well-aimed expression of contempt



to point (a weapon, missile, etc) or direct (a blow) at a particular person or object; level
(tr) to direct (satire, criticism, etc) at a person, object, etc
(intr; foll by at or an infinitive) to propose or intendwe aim to leave early
(intr; often foll by at or for) to direct one's efforts or strive (towards)to aim at better communications; to aim high


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

Word Origin for aim

C14: via Old French aesmer from Latin aestimāre to estimate


abbreviation for

(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

Word Origin and History for well-aimed



early 14c., "target;" late 14c., "guess;" from aim (v.). Meaning "action of aiming" is from early 15c. (to take aim, originally make aim); that of "thing intended, purpose" is from 1620s.



early 14c., "to estimate, calculate," also "to intend," from Old French aesmer "value, rate; count, estimate," from Latin aestimare "appraise" (see estimation); current meaning apparently developed from "esteem," to "calculate," to "calculate with a view to action" (c.1400), then to "direct a missile, a blow, etc." (1570s). Related: Aimed; aiming.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with well-aimed


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.