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, shimming.
to fill out or bring to a level by inserting a shim or shims.

1715–25; origin uncertain Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
shim (ʃɪm)
1.  a thin packing strip or washer often used with a number of similar washers or strips to adjust a clearance for gears, etc
2.  physics a thin strip of magnetic material, such as soft iron, used to adjust a magnetic field
vb , shims, shimming, shimmed
3.  (tr) to modify a load, clearance, or magnetic field by the use of shims
[C18: origin unknown]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

"a slip of wood," 1723, a Kentish word, of unknown origin. Originally a piece of iron fitted to a plow for scraping soil; meaning "thin slip to fill up a space or raise a level" is from 1860. The verb meaning "to wedge up a surface by means of a shim" is attested from 1937.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Computing Dictionary

shim definition

jargon, memory management
A small piece of data inserted in order to achieve a desired memory alignment or other addressing property.
For example, the PDP-11 Unix linker, in split I&D (instructions and data) mode, inserts a two-byte shim at location 0 in data space so that no data object will have an address of 0 (and be confused with the C null pointer).
See also loose bytes.
[Jargon File]
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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Example sentences
Perform field measurements to verify existing conditions, fastener sizes and required shim thicknesses.
Gently tap the shim into the space between the joist and subfloor.
Shim packs are the flexible part of the coupling connecting axial flow compressors and motors.
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