—v.t. 1. to put into a neat or orderly condition by clipping, paring, pruning, etc.: to trim a hedge. 2. to remove (something superfluous or dispensable) by or as if by cutting (often fol. by off): to trim off loose threads from a ragged edge. 3. to cut down, as to required size or shape: trim a budget; trim a piece of wood. 4. Aeron.to level off (an airship or airplane) in flight.
5. Naut. a. to distribute the load of (a ship) so that it sits well in the water.
b. to stow or arrange, as cargo.
c. to adjust (the sails or yards) with reference to the direction of the wind and the course of the ship.
6. to decorate or adorn with ornaments or embellishments: to trim a dress with fur. 7. to arrange goods in (a store window, showcase, etc.) as a display.
8. to prepare or adjust (a lamp, fire, etc.) for proper burning.
9. Informal. a. to rebuke or reprove.
b. to beat or thrash.
c. to defeat.
10. to dress or array (often fol. by up).
—v.i. 1. Naut. a. to assume a particular position or trim in the water, as a vessel.
b. to adjust the sails or yards with reference to the direction of the wind and the course of the ship.
2. to pursue a neutral or cautious policy between parties.
3. to accommodate one's views to the prevailing opinion for reasons of expediency.
4. trim one's sails. See sail (def. 11).
—n. 1. the condition, order, or fitness of a person or thing for action, work, use, etc.
2. Naut. a. the set of a ship in the water, esp. the most advantageous one.
b. the condition of a ship with reference to its fitness for sailing.
c. the adjustment of sails, rigging, etc., with reference to wind direction and the course of the ship.
d. the condition of a submarine as regards buoyancy.
3. a person's dress, adornment, or appearance.
4. material used for decoration or embellishment; decorative trimming.
5. decoration of a store window for the display of merchandise; window dressing.
6. a trimming by cutting, clipping, or the like.
7. a haircut that restores the previous cut to neatness without changing the hair style.
8. something that is cut off or eliminated.
9. Aeron.the attitude of an airplane with respect to all three axes, at which balance occurs in forward flight under no controls.
10. Building Trades.finished woodwork or the like used to decorate or border openings or wall surfaces, as cornices, baseboards, or moldings.
11. Auto. a. the upholstery, knobs, handles, and other equipment inside a motor car.
b. ornamentation on the exterior of an automobile, esp. in metal or a contrasting color.
—adj. 1. pleasingly neat or smart in appearance: trim lawns. 2. in good condition or order.
3. (of a person) in excellent physical condition: Swimming is a good way to keep trim. 4. slim; lean.
5. Obs.good, excellent, or fine.