Definition of aim noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//eɪm//
    ; NAmE NAmE//eɪm//
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  1. 1  [countable] the purpose of doing something; what somebody is trying to achieve the aims of the lesson She went to London with the aim of finding a job. Our main aim is to increase sales in Europe. Bob's one aim in life is to earn a lot of money. Teamwork is required in order to achieve these aims. She set out the company's aims and objectives in her speech. Synonymspurposeaim intention plan point ideaThese are all words for talking about what somebody/​something intends to do or achieve.purpose what something is supposed to achieve; what somebody is trying to achieve:Our campaign’s main purpose is to raise money.aim what somebody is trying to achieve; what something is supposed to achieve:She went to London with the aim of finding a job. Our main aim is to increase sales in Europe.purpose or aim?Your purpose for doing something is your reason for doing it; your aim is what you want to achieve. Aim can suggest that you are only trying to achieve something; purpose gives a stronger sense of achievement being certain. Aim can be somebody’s aim or the aim of something. Purpose is more usually the purpose of something: you can talk about somebody’s purpose but that is more formal.intention what you intend to do:I have no intention of going to the wedding. She’s full of good intentions but they rarely work out.plan what you intend to do or achieve:There are no plans to build new offices.intention or plan?Your intentions are what you want to do, especially in the near future; your plans are what you have decided or arranged to do, often, but not always, in the longer term.point (rather informal) the purpose or aim of something:What’s the point of all this violence? The point of the lesson is to compare the two countries.idea (rather informal) the purpose of something; somebody’s aim:The whole idea of going was so that we could meet her new boyfriend. What’s the idea behind this?point or idea?Point is a more negative word than idea. If you say What’s the point…? you are suggesting that there is no point; if you say What’s the idea…? you are genuinely asking a question. Point, but not idea, is used to talk about things you feel annoyed or unhappy about:There’s no idea in… I don’t see the idea of…. Patterns with the purpose/​aim/​intention/​idea of doing something somebody’s intention/​plan to do something to have a(n) purpose/​aim/​intention/​plan/​point to achieve/​fulfil a(n) purpose/​aim
  2. 2[uncountable] the action or skill of pointing a weapon at somebody/something Her aim was good and she hit the lion with her first shot. The gunman took aim (= pointed his weapon) and fired.
  3. Word OriginMiddle 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).Extra examples He took aim at the target and fired. His aim was poor and he missed the target. His sole aim in life is to enjoy himself. His ultimate aim was to force the chairman to resign. I want to see a strong and united country in which people work together with common aims. I’ll take more careful aim next time. It is important to have a clear aim in view. She started the organization with the aim of helping local people. Simple truth must be the highest aim of any real enquiry. The country is still pursuing its aim of joining the EU. The express aim of the treaty is to keep the whole region free from nuclear weapons. They were intent on furthering their aims. What are the aims and objectives of this visit? You will have to work hard to achieve your aim. Begin by explaining the aims of the lesson. She set out the company’s aims and objectives in her speech.Idioms
    take aim at somebody/something
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    (North American English) to direct your criticism at somebody/something
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: aim

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