Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

trim - definition and synonyms

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Thesaurus diagram

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

verb [transitive]     trim pronunciation in American English
Word Forms
present tense
present participletrimming
past tensetrimmed
past participletrimmed
  1. 1
    to cut something such as hair so that it looks neat

    a well-trimmed beard

    Someone is trimming the grass outside with shears.

    I had an inch trimmed off at the beauty shop.

  2. 2
    to reduce the amount or number of something
    trim something to something:

    The workforce has been trimmed to 230.

    trim something from something:

    The company had also trimmed $46,000 from its advertising budget.

  3. 3
    to arrange the sails on a boat so that they are appropriate for the wind
    1. a.
      to change the position of the flaps on an airplane so that it is balanced and under control
  4. 4
    to decorate the edges of something, for example a piece of clothing

    a fur-trimmed coat

    1. a.
      American to decorate something

      The kids always enjoy trimming the Christmas tree.

phrasal verbs

quiz invitation

Open Dictionary

patio diplomacy

high-level diplomats meeting and dining in an informal environment e.g. a party or club

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play