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[eym] /eɪm/
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)
to point or direct a gun, punch, etc., toward:
He aimed at the target but missed it.
to strive; try (usually followed by to or at):
We aim to please. They aim at saving something every month.
to intend:
She aims to go tomorrow.
to direct efforts, as toward an object:
The satire aimed at modern greed.
Obsolete. to estimate; guess.
the act of aiming or directing anything at or toward a particular point or target.
the direction in which a weapon or missile is pointed; the line of sighting:
within the cannon's aim.
the point intended to be hit; thing or person aimed at:
to miss one's aim.
something intended or desired to be attained by one's efforts; purpose:
whatever his aim in life may be.
Obsolete. conjecture; guess.
take aim, to sight a target:
to take aim and fire.
Origin of aim
late Middle English
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 forms
aimer, noun
aimful, adjective
aimfully, adverb
misaim, verb, noun
unaimed, adjective
unaiming, adjective
underaim, noun
underaim, verb
well-aimed, adjective
1. point. 8. sighting. 10. target, objective. 11. goal; intent, design. 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 Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for well-aimed
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • At first they thought he was dead, and it is marvellous that the well-aimed discharge did not kill him.

    Round About the Carpathians Andrew F. Crosse
  • A well-aimed discharge could not have failed to kill a score of them at least.

    The Hunters' Feast Mayne Reid
  • Their prey is soon secured, for the well-aimed harpoon has done its work, and the hippopotamus is soon forced to succumb.

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

    The Shame of Motley Raphael Sabatini
  • A well-aimed shot by Jimmie had brought down the bird, which Charlie suggested would do for the next day's dinner.

    Jack the Young Canoeman George Bird Grinnell
  • The chimney of the house had collapsed from a well-aimed obus.

    Young Hilda at the Wars Arthur Gleason
  • Toyner sank beneath the blow as an ox shivers and sinks under the well-aimed blow of the butcher.

    The Zeit-Geist Lily Dougall
  • A series of humorous and well-aimed thrusts at the follies of the times.

    Rose Clark Fanny Fern
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 object: a well-aimed, precise blow
(of a comment, criticism, etc) obviously and accurately directed at a person, object, etc: a well-aimed expression of contempt


to point (a weapon, missile, etc) or direct (a blow) at a particular person or object; level
(transitive) to direct (satire, criticism, etc) at a person, object, etc
(intransitive; foll by at or an infinitive) to propose or intend: we aim to leave early
(intransitive; 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
C14: via Old French aesmer from Latin aestimāre to estimate


(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
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Word Origin and History for well-aimed



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.


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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Related Abbreviations for well-aimed


American Indian Movement
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Idioms and Phrases with well-aimed


In addition to the idiom beginning with aim also see: take aim
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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