trim

When you cut something, literally or figuratively, you trim it. If you have steady hands, you can trim your own bangs. If you don't have steady hands, you can save up for a professional haircut by trimming the amount of money you spend on comics and snacks.

A landscaper trims the grass and shrubs, and a cook trims fat off of meat before cooking it. But when you trim the Christmas tree, you decorate it, and when a sailor trims the sails, she adjusts them so they'll catch the wind just right. And as a noun, a trim is "an act of cutting," while trim is "decoration." All forms of this word are rooted in nautical language.

Definitions of trim
  1. verb
    cut down on; make a reduction in
    synonyms: bring down, cut, cut back, cut down, reduce, trim back, trim down
    cut
    have a reducing effect
    see moresee less
    types:
    show 20 types...
    hide 20 types...
    shorten
    make shorter than originally intended; reduce or retrench in length or duration
    spill
    reduce the pressure of wind on (a sail)
    quench
    reduce the degree of (luminescence or phosphorescence) in (excited molecules or a material) by adding a suitable substance
    retrench
    make a reduction, as in one's workforce
    slash
    cut drastically
    thin out
    make sparse
    thin
    make thin or thinner
    detract, take away
    take away a part from; diminish
    deflate
    reduce or cut back the amount or availability of, creating a decline in value or prices
    inflate
    increase the amount or availability of, creating a rise in value
    downsize
    reduce in size or number
    subtract
    take off or away
    knock off, shave
    cut the price of
    foreshorten
    shorten lines in a drawing so as to create an illusion of depth
    clip, curtail, cut short
    terminate or abbreviate before its intended or proper end or its full extent
    syncopate
    omit a sound or letter in a word
    cut short, truncate
    make shorter as if by cutting off
    draw
    reduce the diameter of (a wire or metal rod) by pulling it through a die
    clip, crop, cut back, dress, lop, prune, snip
    cultivate, tend, and cut back the growth of
    mark down
    reduce the price of
    type of:
    decrease, lessen, minify
    make smaller
  2. verb
    cut closely
    trim my beard”
    synonyms: shave
    see moresee less
    types:
    fleece, shear
    shear the wool from
    type of:
    cut
    shorten as if by severing the edges or ends of
  3. verb
    remove the edges from and cut down to the desired size
    trim the photograph”
    trim lumber”
    synonyms: pare
    see moresee less
    types:
    dress
    cut down rough-hewn (lumber) to standard thickness and width
    type of:
    cut
    separate with or as if with an instrument
  4. verb
    cultivate, tend, and cut back the growth of
    synonyms: clip, crop, cut back, dress, lop, prune, snip
    see moresee less
    types:
    show 5 types...
    hide 5 types...
    shear
    cut with shears
    poll, pollard
    convert into a pollard
    pinch, top
    cut the top off
    disbud
    thin out buds to improve the quality of the remaining flowers
    tail
    remove the stalk of fruits or berries
    type of:
    thin out
    make sparse
  5. noun
    cutting down to the desired size or shape
    synonyms: clipping, trimming
    see moresee less
    types:
    pruning
    the act of trimming a plant
    type of:
    cut, cutting, cutting off
    the act of shortening something by chopping off the ends
  6. adjective
    thin and fit
    “a body kept trim by exercise”
    synonyms: spare
    lean, thin
    lacking excess flesh
  7. adjective
    neat and smart in appearance
    “a trim beard”
    synonyms: clean-cut, trig
    tidy
    marked by order and cleanliness in appearance or habits
  8. adjective
    of places; characterized by order and neatness; free from disorder
    “a trim little sailboat”
    synonyms: shipshape, well-kept
    tidy
    marked by order and cleanliness in appearance or habits
  9. adjective
    severely simple in line or design
    synonyms: tailored
    plain
    not elaborate or elaborated; simple
  10. verb
    decorate, as with ornaments
    trim the christmas tree”
    trim a shop window”
    see moresee less
    type of:
    adorn, beautify, decorate, embellish, grace, ornament
    make more attractive by adding ornament, colour, etc.
  11. verb
    decorate (food), as with parsley or other ornamental foods
    synonyms: dress, garnish
    dress, dress out
    kill and prepare for market or consumption
    dress
    put a dressing on
    see moresee less
    type of:
    adorn, beautify, decorate, embellish, grace, ornament
    make more attractive by adding ornament, colour, etc.
  12. noun
    a decoration or adornment on a garment
    “the trimming on a hat”
    “the trim on a shirt”
    synonyms: passementerie, trimming
    see moresee less
    types:
    show 5 types...
    hide 5 types...
    braid, braiding, gold braid
    trimming used to decorate clothes or curtains
    miniver
    trimming on ceremonial robes consisting of white or light grey fur
    rickrack, ricrac
    a narrow zigzag ribbon used as trimming
    aglet, aiglet, aiguilette
    ornamental tagged cord or braid on the shoulder of a uniform
    soutache
    a narrow braid used as a decorative trimming
    type of:
    adornment
    a decoration of color or interest that is added to relieve plainness
  13. noun
    a state of arrangement or appearance
    “in good trim
    synonyms: trimness
    see moresee less
    type of:
    neatness, spruceness
    the state of being neat and smart and trim
  14. verb
    adjust (sails on a ship) so that the wind is optimally used
    see moresee less
    type of:
    adjust, correct, set
    alter or regulate so as to achieve accuracy or conform to a standard
  15. verb
    balance in flight by regulating the control surfaces
    trim an airplane”
    see moresee less
    type of:
    balance, equilibrate, equilibrise, equilibrize
    bring into balance or equilibrium
  16. verb
    be in equilibrium during a flight
    “The airplane trimmed
    see moresee less
    type of:
    be
    have the quality of being; (copula, used with an adjective or a predicate noun)
  17. noun
    attitude of an aircraft in flight when allowed to take its own orientation
    see moresee less
    type of:
    attitude
    position of aircraft or spacecraft relative to a frame of reference (the horizon or direction of motion)
Word Family