trim

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out of trim

1. Unprepared, as of ships that are not ready to sail. "To trim," in the nautical sense, means to adjust a ship's balance or sails. No, we can't leave yet, the boat is out of trim!
2. In poor condition, usually physically. I know I need to get back to the gym—I'm really out of trim these days. A: "I checked on the house a few months ago, why?" B: "It's completely out of trim! Paint is peeling, windows are broken, it's a mess!"
See also: of, out, trim

be in fighting trim

To be prepared to tackle a situation, often with an emphasis on one's physical strength or readiness. You'll do great in the race—after months of training, you're in fighting trim.
See also: fight, trim

trim (one's) sails

1. To adapt oneself to new or altered circumstances. Following the attack, many politicians trimmed their sails and adopted a more aggressive stance on military action.
2. To spend less money; to decrease one's expenses. Our rent is much higher, so we've had to trim our sails a bit, but we love living in this area.
See also: sail, trim

fit and trim

slim and in good physical shape. Jean tried to keep herself fit and trim at all times. For some people, keeping fit and trim requires time, effort, and self-discipline.
See also: and, fit, trim

trim (oneself) down

to take action to become slimmer or lose weight. I need to trim myself down before I go on vacation. I decided to trim down, but I never got around to it. You really need to trim down and stay at a lower weight.
See also: down, trim

trim something away (from something)

to cut something away (from something). The butcher trimmed the fat away from the steak. Please trim away the fat from the meat.
See also: away, trim

trim something down

to reduce the size of something. You will have to trim the picture down to get it into the frame. Trim down the picture before you frame it.
See also: down, trim

trim something from something

to cut something away from something. I trimmed the fat from the steaks. We had to trim a lot of the fat from the meat after we got it home.
See also: trim

trim something off (of) someone or something

 and trim something off
to cut something off someone or something. (Of is usually retained before pronouns.) I asked the barber to trim the beard off of Ralph. The barber trimmed off Ralph's beard.
See also: off, trim

trim something with something

to decorate something with something. She trimmed the dress with lace. Bobby and Timmy trimmed the tree with colorful ornaments.
See also: trim

trim one's sails

Modify one's stand, adapt to circumstances, as in His advisers told him to trim his sails before he alienated voters and bungled the election completely . This metaphoric expression alludes to adjusting a ship's sails to take full advantage of prevailing winds. [Late 1700s]
See also: sail, trim

in fighting trim

mainly AMERICAN
If someone or something is in fighting trim, they are in very good condition. I need to be in fighting trim for the months ahead. Note: You can also say that someone or something gets into fighting trim. They need to get the company into fighting trim for the next decade. Note: A boxer who is in fighting trim is fit and ready to fight.
See also: fight, trim

in trim

slim and healthy.
See also: trim

trim your sails

make changes to suit your new circumstances.
Literally, trim a sail means ‘adjust the sail of a boat to take advantage of the wind’.
See also: sail, trim

be, keep, etc. in ˈtrim

(British English, informal) be, remain, etc. fit and healthy: For a man of his age he keeps in good trim. OPPOSITE: be out of shape (2)
See also: trim

ˌtrim your ˈsails


1 arrange the sails of a boat to suit the wind so that the boat moves faster
2 reduce your costs: Increasingly, businesses are having to trim their sails in order to survive.
See also: sail, trim

trim down

v.
1. To reduce something by or as if by cutting away the excess: The company is trimming down its budget this year. The editor trimmed the long manuscript down to 200 pages.
2. To lose weight, as by dieting or exercise: The doctor advised me to trim down.
See also: down, trim

trim off

v.
To remove some excess by or as if by cutting: I trimmed off the rotten wood. The barber will trim my bangs off.
See also: off, trim
References in periodicals archive ?
Shakespeare causes Hotspur to pour scorn on the appearanc and costume of the coxcomb, a character who is "neat and trimly dressed" (33), shaved, perfumed, "fresh as a bridegroom" (34), "perfumed like a milliner" (36) Moreover, Hotspur says,
PASTA GETS GOOD marks in today's diet if you accessorize it trimly.
Capitol, the trimly manicured zoysia grass and gurgling fountain surrounding the modest brick building appear an unlikely setting for a conspiracy.
Through the open doors one views a landscape with a cathedral and a trimly built manor-house.
We have a better representation of Queen Catherine in Dirk Stoop's trimly designed portrait (National Portrait Gallery).
The prefaces, commentaries, catalogue-entries, chronology and lavish colour-plates are trimly arranged and expertly apportioned.
Coppelius of British painting trimly animates his charming puppets: dapper squires and merchants and their families in an evanescent landscape not unworthy of Stubbs.
The grief-laden picture is trimly drawn and lacks Martini's usual clutter of ornament, although the Byzantine tradition persists in the narrow eyes and thin hooked nose.