Definitions and meaning of trim
From Middle English trimen, trymen, trümen, from Old English trymman (“to make firm; strengthen”), from Proto-Germanic *trumjaną (“to make fast; strengthen”), from Proto-Germanic *trumaz (“firm; strong; sound”).
- IPA(key): /tɹɪm/, [t̠ʰɹ̠̊ɪm]
- Rhymes: -ɪm
trim (third-person singular simple present trims, present participle trimming, simple past and past participle trimmed)
- (transitive) To reduce slightly; to cut; especially, to remove excess.
- (transitive) To decorate or adorn; especially of a Christmas tree.
- (transitive, aviation, of an aircraft) To adjust the positions of control surfaces, sometimes using trim tabs, so as to modify or eliminate the aircraft's tendency to pitch, roll, or yaw when the cockpit controls are released.
- (transitive, nautical, of a vessel) To modify the angle relative to the water by shifting cargo or ballast; to adjust for sailing; to assume, or cause to assume a certain position, or trim, in the water.
- 1883, Robert Louis Stevenson, Treasure Island
- The captain made us trim the boat, and we got her to lie a little more evenly.
- (transitive, nautical, of a vessel's sails) To modify the angle (of the sails) relative to the wind, especially to set them at the most advantageous angle.
- (dated) To balance; to fluctuate between parties, so as to appear to favour each.
- (transitive) To make trim; to put in due order for any purpose; to make right, neat, or pleasing; to adjust.
- The hermit trimmed his little fire.
- (transitive, carpentry, of timber) To dress; to make smooth.
- (transitive, dated) To rebuke; to reprove.
- (transitive, dated) To beat or thrash.
- (transitive, historical) To cut back the wick of (a lamp) to maintain a clean, bright flame.
- 1811, The Tradesman (volume 7, page 420)
- The lamp, or candle, which lights the binnacle, is placed in the cabin, of course the expence of one light is saved, and all the inconveniences of blowing out in a squally night, and likewise the trouble of trimming the lamp, are avoided.
- (transitive, by extension) To change the carbon rods of (an arc lamp).
- 1892, English Mechanic and World of Science (page 444)
- To trim an arc lamp, first remove the old carbons and carefully and thoroughly wipe the carbon rods, holders, &c. with a clean, dry rag. […] Having cleaned the rods, next wipe out the globe and get ready the fresh carbons.
trim (countable and uncountable, plural trims)
- (uncountable) Decoration; especially, decoration placed along edges or borders.
- (countable) A haircut, especially a moderate one to touch up an existing style.
- Dress; gear; ornaments.
- (countable) The manner in which something is equipped or adorned; order; disposition.
- 1614, George Chapman, Andromeda Liberata
- The measure and whole trim of comeliness
- (uncountable, aviation, of an aircraft) The state of adjustment of control surfaces such that the desired attitude can be maintained without requiring the continuous application of force to the cockpit controls.
- (uncountable, aviation, by extension) The mechanism(s) used to trim an aircraft in roll, pitch, and/or yaw.
- (uncountable, slang, mildly vulgar) Sexual intercourse.
- 1969, Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, New York: Bantam, 1971, Chapter 35, pp. 239-240,
- “Take me somewhere.”
- His response lacked dignity, but in fairness to him I admit that I had left him little chance to be suave.
- He asked, “You mean, you’re going to give me some trim?”
- (nautical) The fore-and-aft angle of the vessel to the water, with reference to the cargo and ballast; the manner in which a vessel floats on the water, whether on an even keel or down by the head or stern.
- (nautical) The arrangement of the sails with reference to the wind.
trim (comparative trimmer, superlative trimmest)
- Physically fit.
- Slender, lean.
- Neat or smart in appearance.
- 1599, William Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing, Act 4 Scene 1
- […] manhood is melted into curtsies, valour into compliment, and men are only turned into tongue, and trim ones too: he is now as valiant as Hercules that only tells a lie and swears it.
trim (not comparable)
- (nautical) In good order; properly managed or maintained.
- (nautical) With sails well trimmed.
From Proto-Albanian *trim-, most likely from Proto-Indo-European *ter- (“soft, weak, young”). Cognate with Sanskrit तरुण (táruṇa, “young”) and Armenian թարմ (tʿarm, “young, fresh”). Alternatively from Proto-Indo-European *trem(s)- (“to thump; to tremble”). Compare Latin tremō (“tremble”), Lithuanian trìmti (“shake, tremble”), Tocharian A tröm (“in rage, fury”) and Tocharian B tremi (“rage, fury”).
trim m (indefinite plural trima, definite singular trimi, definite plural trimat)
- man, manful
- valiant, valorous
- brave, hardy
- first-person singular present indicative of trimmen
- imperative of trimmen
- dative plural masculine form of trīs
- instrumental plural masculine form of trīs
- dative plural feminine form of trīs
- instrumental plural feminine form of trīs
- having three cells or cavities; as, a trilocular heart.
(source: Collins Scrabble Dictionary)