Main definitions of aim in English

: aim1AIM2



  • 1with object Point or direct (a weapon or camera) at a target.

    ‘aim the camcorder at some suitable object’
    no object ‘aim for the middle of the target’
    • ‘On that day, citizens all over the nation were supposed to approach public surveillance cameras and aim their own cameras back at them.’
    • ‘You load the weapon, you aim the weapon and you pull the trigger.’
    • ‘If I want the moviegoer to look somewhere, I just aim the camera on that place.’
    • ‘I also always felt that the campaign was always more important than the movie itself, because anyone can aim a camera.’
    • ‘On every side were soldiers taking positions and aiming their weapons.’
    • ‘It tool several minutes to fill, all the while Eric stood, aiming his shotgun every which way.’
    • ‘The high-tech helmet had a targeting lens mounted on it, so aiming a weapon of any sort was easier.’
    • ‘When it was only a few metres away, I aimed my camera up towards it and peered through the viewfinder.’
    • ‘She turned to simply stand motionless, her wrist cannons locked on her target and Jack came around the corner to aim his weapon as well, then stopped suddenly.’
    • ‘They aim the camera toward the top of the distant clouds.’
    • ‘Josie aims the gun, but before she can fire it again, the driver of the boat screams at her.’
    • ‘The group responded immediately dropping into a crouch and aiming their weapons.’
    • ‘I did have the compulsion, though to aim the camera towards the side of the room where the beds were.’
    • ‘In his own work he's now studying large Venezuelan bombardiers to learn how the insects aim their weapons and to understand more about the glands involved.’
    • ‘It will be like aiming a gun when the intent is not to pull the trigger.’
    • ‘I've never been very good at archery, but it helps with learning how to aim any weapon.’
    • ‘Using my last gram of air fighting to stay under water, I aimed my camera and got one shot.’
    • ‘Your dominant eye is generally the one you use when you're aiming a camera to take a picture.’
    • ‘One armed officer wearing a helmet and body armour crouched behind the corner of a house and was aiming his weapon.’
    • ‘Additionally, aiming is much more interactive, thanks to an over-the-shoulder camera angle which is activated every time you aim your weapon.’
    point, direct, train, sight, focus, level, line up, position
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    1. 1.1 Direct (a missile or blow) at someone or something.
      ‘she had aimed the bottle at Gary's head’
      • ‘He opted for straight punches to counter his opponent's tactic which was to aim hooked body punches.’
      • ‘The man with the knife then aimed two or three blows to Sylvester who backed on to the railings but did not seem in trouble.’
      • ‘He punched the guard nearest to him in the face and aimed an uppercut punch just below his jaw.’
      • ‘The officer then aimed three blows towards his face and another one to his leg as he handcuffed him and bundled him into a car.’
      • ‘If forced to fight, aim blows towards the neck and the groin.’
      • ‘Its best-known uses have been in physics and engineering, on such problems as how to aim bombs more accurately.’
      • ‘The military said troops fired at two armed men, one aiming an anti-tank missile.’
      • ‘The ability to aim projectiles is one advantage our ancestors might have enjoyed.’
      • ‘In other words, they were aiming their mortars to land closer to the actual runway of the airport.’
      • ‘She said she described her husband standing over her, aiming blows to her head from above.’
      • ‘Now and then they would aim bombs or rockets at one senior terrorist leader or another.’
      • ‘He aimed a brutal blow towards the man's face, hoping to break his nose.’
      • ‘The defendant then allegedly leapt on his bench and aimed a flurry of blows at his head.’
      • ‘Location data would be linked to the missile, and the tracking information would be used to aim the guided missile or to correct its trajectory midcourse.’
      • ‘At its range of 150 kms the army is in no position to obtain the tactical picture to aim the missile.’
      • ‘She finally got a hold of him and pinned him to the ground, and aimed a dagger for his heart.’
      • ‘She raises the malicious wood and straw object above her head, aiming another blow.’
      take aim at, fix on, zero in on, draw a bead on
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    2. 1.2aim something at Direct information, a product, or an action towards (a particular group)
      ‘the TV campaign is aimed at the 16–24 age group’
      • ‘They aimed their products at mainstream consumers, and went head-to-head in quality with established supermarket brands.’
      • ‘Organised by the Meat and Livestock Commission, the competition, in its sixth year was aimed at rewarding product excellence and innovation.’
      • ‘And the bank seems to be aiming its account at those who won't need their money too often, with its interest penalty for any month you make a withdrawal.’
      • ‘Across the spectrum of gifts and toys, most retailers have retreated to a pink-and-blue world, aiming products at the sexes as if they really did come from different planets.’
      • ‘Today they have taken another bold step aiming the product at those who like to remain on the forefront of the computer world.’
      • ‘He aimed his campaign at suburban and centrist voters, particularly through his conservative positions on crime and welfare.’
      • ‘The products are aimed at pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, as well as university and public research labs.’
      • ‘It's a welcome move as such products are aimed at elderly people who release the cash in their homes in order to supplement their retirement income but who may not realise the full implications of doing so.’
      • ‘As I watched this I tried to imagine who it was aimed at.’
      • ‘The products are aimed at consumers and are meant for convenience use only.’
      • ‘The company is working with a voice recognition specialist and early products will be aimed at Japan.’
      • ‘Its consultancy and products are aimed at large companies seeking to arrange the data and information they use online.’
      • ‘He also aimed his campaign at a wider audience, citing his efforts on rent control and his opposition to new real estate development.’
      • ‘And then, of course, I realise that they are obviously not aiming their campaign at people like me, and I sit back and watch the ads, look at the beautiful people and listen to the pretty music.’
      • ‘‘Our products are aimed at professional people committed to health and fitness,’ added Terry, 62.’
      • ‘She noted that this service has been aimed at providing advice and information for deportees to help them re-integrate into society.’
      • ‘Both products will be aimed at the corporate market.’
      • ‘The prolific print publisher aimed his product at a broad public, and understood (better than many historians) that Dutch culture was complex.’
      • ‘The Kirans aimed these productions at the younger generation and were extremely successful in harnessing the participation of a majority of youngsters at the performances.’
      • ‘Can you supply some background information regarding whom the finished estate would be aimed at?’
      intend for, mean for, address to, destine for
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  • 2no object Have the intention of achieving.

    ‘the programme will aim at deepening understanding’
    with infinitive ‘we aim to give you the best possible service’
    • ‘It aims at stabilising the production of wine grapes and will improve the investment and export climate in the sector.’
    • ‘Naturally we can take steps to preserve the Earth; we can aim at sustainability and undertake biological conservation, should we wish, but we have to be prepared to pay for it.’
    • ‘The film is not attempting poignant comments on reality - it aims at grace and good humour.’
    • ‘Rather than choosing between an ensemble of key performance criteria, manufacturers should aim at achieving them all.’
    • ‘As patriots of our beloved country, we should contribute to the endeavors that aim at the safety and well-being of our country.’
    • ‘The mechanical agent uses artificial intelligence techniques to aim at optimally achieving its goal.’
    • ‘The move will certainly achieve what TV stunts aim for: a sudden surge in viewer interest.’
    • ‘Most of the eleven essays here aim at remedying that spiritual and theological misfortune.’
    • ‘The cameras were also aimed at helping to detect youth crime and anti-social behaviour at the troublespot.’
    • ‘Because actually your intention includes whatever you aim at achieving.’
    • ‘The experiment aims at promoting a culture of peace among the youth.’
    • ‘The website aims at getting grass-root voices on-line and seems to be achieving this aim.’
    • ‘The troupe aims at provocation and messages which make the audience, and themselves, really think.’
    • ‘The same might be said of slow-moving animation that aims at portentous but achieves boring.’
    • ‘They need lawyers who are prepared to aim at reconciliation, and none of that can be achieved by legislation.’
    • ‘The program aims at providing the community with wider artistic experience in creating bamboo artwork.’
    • ‘The contest aims at encouraging people to appreciate the nuances of nature and capture its beauty on film, he says.’
    • ‘More realistically, they aim at achieving a set of mutual benefits.’
    • ‘This scheme aims at making building sites a safer working environment.’
    • ‘As they are today, the missile talks should be aimed at accomplishing a variety of objectives.’
    work towards, be after, set one's sights on, try for, strive for, pursue, seek, aspire to, endeavour to achieve, have in view, have designs on, wish for, want
    intend, plan, resolve, propose, purpose, design, mean, have in mind, have in view
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  • 1A purpose or intention; a desired outcome.

    ‘our primary aim is to achieve financial discipline’
    • ‘Behind intentions and conscious aims lie complex objective processes that shape the course of history.’
    • ‘The establishment of a common market has always been one of the primary aims of the EU, as stated in the Treaty of Rome.’
    • ‘The best thing we can do is to get the bills passed so that their aims and intent can be put into practice.’
    • ‘Clear aims and defined outcomes are essential and are likely to be helped by the involvement of lay people and NHS clinicians.’
    • ‘To a certain extent these have played an effective role in the last couple of decades towards the aims of conservation.’
    • ‘My hopes and desires and aims were to win this tournament.’
    • ‘Thus, one of the primary experimental aims has not been achieved.’
    • ‘In General the Chamber is in agreement with the Draft Plan and its aims and objectives.’
    • ‘It maintains that one of the primary aims of the criminal law is the protection of fundamental social interests.’
    • ‘The aims, or goals and targets, would be set by the federal government.’
    • ‘Their attitudes and aims determined the outcome of succession dispute, not merely who won, but what he acquired.’
    • ‘Participation and involvement are vital to the aims and goals of the Association.’
    • ‘Thus, one of the primary aims of education should be to train young people in virtue.’
    • ‘Understand the aims and purposes of the Shari'ah as well as the resulting outcomes.’
    • ‘Optimising quality of life before a timely, dignified, and peaceful death are the primary aims of palliative care.’
    • ‘All these worthy aims require active participation and the ready expression of ideas.’
    • ‘What it does is set out the EU's aims and goals much more clearly and tidies up the existing set of rules.’
    • ‘This is supposed to be a summary of the aims and purpose of the party in broad terms.’
    • ‘That's part of being separate people, with different aims and desires.’
    • ‘Their narrow minded ideas and aims are a threat to the aspirations of this town.’
    objective, object, goal, end, target, grail, holy grail, design, desire, desired result, intention, intent, plan, purpose, idea, point, object of the exercise
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  • 2in singular The directing of a weapon or missile at a target.

    ‘his aim was perfect’
    • ‘Then, with a perfect aim, she fired the gun.’
    • ‘Currently, the aim was targeted at the closed hangar bay door.’
    • ‘He couldn't see an inch in front of his nose, even with his expert eyesight fit for a perfect aim.’
    • ‘The aim can be perfect, while a poor stroke causes the cueball to diverge off the intended path.’
    • ‘A faint round of applause built up around him, as some of the younger boys had gathered around to watch the mysterious stranger with the perfect aim.’
    • ‘His aim was perfect at five hundred metres, a testament to the hours of practice he put himself through.’
    • ‘Perfect aim can be negated with a poor hit on the cue ball.’
    • ‘Knowing this, Jennings took direct aim at the doctor's head.’
    • ‘You can even take out police helicopters if you happen to have very good aim or the right weapon.’
    • ‘The Pentagon plans to use them to improve the aim of missiles and provide better navigation for warplanes and ground troops.’
    • ‘She saw one and barely dodged it, the other one was too high to even touch her, but the last was a perfect aim, not to hit her, but to break the wire.’
    • ‘My aim was perfect with that piece of equipment.’
    • ‘She arched her hand, stared at the bin and threw the can towards it in a perfect aim.’
    • ‘They showed us how to load the weapon and aim at the target.’
    • ‘His finger convulsed on the trigger, even as he leveled the weapon for aim.’
    • ‘It was a perfect aim and there was no way he would miss.’
    • ‘To hit such a difficult target takes steadiness of aim and cool judgment for the birds are over the guns and away in the distance in an instant, some flying at speeds of up to 70 mph.’
    • ‘My aim is not yet perfected, so it took me five bullets.’


  • aim high

    • Be ambitious.

      ‘must women who aim high be more hard-working than the men?’
      • ‘One who aims high for the future must not be concerned with present loss or gain.’
      • ‘Spokesman Charles Rollinson said: ‘We are aiming high.’’
      • ‘I won't make any rash predictions, but we will be aiming high.’
      • ‘Ms Kapwepwe aims high when she talks about changing the out-look of airports to compete equally in the region to boost the tourism industry.’
      • ‘It's not a great film, but it leaves you with some great moments and aims high.’
      • ‘‘You must aim high - Irish firms must try to be the very best in our globalised world,’ said Mr. Cronin.’
      • ‘The veteran defender said: ‘I'm sure the club will be aiming high, especially after the euphoria of promotion last year.’’
      • ‘At the official launch of the York Museums Trust, chief executive Janet Barnes set its aims high: ‘the potential of the museums and the collections in York could and should be first class,’ she said.’
      • ‘Though they just graduated from middle school, that doesn't stop these girls from aiming high career-wise.… the girls say they are interested in continuing in law enforcement.’
      • ‘Given the stunning success of the launch rally, the message round the country must be aim high and you can mobilise significant numbers.’
  • take aim

    • Point a weapon or camera at a target.

      ‘Kearny took aim with his pistol’
      ‘take aim, fire!’
      • ‘Under the blazing sun, young men are flat on their belly, their hands resting lightly on service rifles as they prepare to take aim for the target practice.’
      • ‘He took aim at the target and fired, a perfect bulls eye, and with not even a single sound emitted.’
      • ‘When the flashlight went off, they took aim in the direction of the light.’
      • ‘Ryan squinted, closing his left eye as he took aim at this narrow target.’
      • ‘It was eerie to stroll along the lakeshore from apartment to classroom and back past dozens of small thin reclining military figures taking aim at imaginary targets with outstretched rifles.’
      • ‘He held the gun out in front of him as if he was taking aim at a target.’
      • ‘Then recock the barrel correctly to its original position, take aim and squeeze the trigger.’
      • ‘Even the chaplain was taking aim at enemy positions.’
      • ‘She felt the bow in her firm grip as she took aim at the target, the silvery arrow pointing away from her.’
      • ‘But then you feel the eyes - the eyes of the cameras sweeping around, taking aim, trying to tag you.’
      aim, point, direct, level, line something up, turn something on, fix something on, sight, position, focus
      View synonyms


Middle English: from Old French amer, variant of esmer (from Latin aestimare ‘assess, estimate’), reinforced by aemer, aesmer (from late Latin adaestimare, intensified form of aestimare).




Main definitions of aim in English

: aim1AIM2


  • Alternative Investment Market (a subsidiary market of the London Stock Exchange that allows small companies to be traded without the expense of a full market listing).