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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

be in trim

To be in good health and physical shape. Primarily heard in UK. I've been going to the gym so that I'm in trim for my island vacation.
See also: trim

fit and trim

In good health and physical shape. Tara's looking fit and trim these days—that new exercise regime of hers is really paying off.
See also: and, fit, trim

in fighting trim

In a state of preparation or good condition to handle a particular situation. We have to make sure we're in fighting trim going into this trial. Don't worry, the race is four months away, so you've got plenty of time to get in fighting trim.
See also: fight, trim

in trim

In good physical condition; fit and healthy. I want to get in trim before the wedding, so I've started going to the gym on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
See also: trim

keep in trim

To maintain good health and physical shape. Primarily heard in UK. I've been going to the gym to keep in trim for my island vacation.
See also: keep, trim

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

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

trim (something) from (something else)

1. To remove small amounts of something from something else by cutting. Trimming excess leaves and branches from the plant will help it grow bigger. A: "Why are you trimming all the fat from the steak? That's the best part!" B: "Yuck! You're crazy!"
2. To discard or do away with small amounts of something. I always try to trim as many costs from my trips as I can, from airfare, to hotels, to what and where I'll be eating. We need to find a way to trim five kilograms from the aircraft's design, or it will be too heavy to fly.
3. To remove body fat from some part of one's body, as through dieting or exercising. I'd love to trim a couple pounds from my waist before my wedding. This is one of the best ways to trim stubborn fat from your thighs.
See also: trim

trim (something) with (something)

1. To remove small amounts of some material using some kind of cutting implement. They sell all sorts of special tools for the job, but I think it works just as well to trim the fabric with normal scissors. You'll need to trim the tough parts of the seaweed with a strong, sharp knife.
2. To make something lighter or leaner using some particular method; to remove or discard excessive or unwanted parts or elements of something with a particular strategy or plan. It's time to trim that stubborn body fat with our new patented five-step workout routine! I didn't want to trim the company's budget with mass layoffs, but it's the only option left.
3. To decorate or adorn the edges or lining of something with some material. You can rejuvenate a plain or old-fashioned jacket by trimming it with something bright and vibrant. One of my favorite things to do at Christmastime is to trim the tree with ornaments and tinsel.
See also: trim

trim away

1. To remove small amounts of something (from something else) by cutting. A noun or pronoun can be used between "trim" and "away." If you trim excess leaves and branches away, the plant will end up growing bigger and producing more fruit. A: "Why are you trimming away all the fat? That's the best part of the steak!" B: "Yuck! You're crazy!"
2. To discard or do away with small amounts of something. A noun or pronoun can be used between "trim" and "away." Our monthly expenses have gotten out of control, so we're bringing in a financial consultant to help us trim some of them away. The aircraft is still too heavy. We need to find a way of trimming away another five kilograms.
3. To remove body fat (from some part of one's body), as with diet or exercise. A noun or pronoun can be used between "trim" and "away." I'd love to trim away some of these extra pounds before my wedding. This is one of the best ways to trim stubborn belly fat away.
See also: away, trim

trim down

1. To become lighter or thinner by losing weight. I'm trying to trim down before my wedding this summer.
2. To cause someone or something to lose weight or become less bulky. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "trim" and "down." We need to trim down our luggage or we'll get charged a fortune at the airport! I just want to trim my belly fat down a little bit. He really could have used a good editor to trim the book down a tad.
3. To remove or discard small amounts of something, especially that which is excessive or unwanted. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "trim" and "down." The company is selling a more modest version of the phone, trimming down the specs as well as the cost. We'll need to trim the number of guests down if we want to stay under budget.
See also: down, trim

trim off

1. To remove by cutting some small piece of someone or something else. A noun or pronoun can be used between "trim" and "off." I just want to trim off some of your hair in the back—I promise I won't do anything drastic! I decided to trim off my mustache.
2. To excise some element or aspect abruptly or suddenly. A noun or pronoun can be used between "trim" and "off." The company was forced to trim off healthcare benefits for its employees in order to stay afloat. My editor trimmed nearly 200 pages off my book, calling them "unnecessary"!
3. To shed body fat (from some part of one's body), as through dieting or exercising. A noun or pronoun can be used between "trim" and "off." I'd love to trim a couple pounds off my waist before my wedding. This is one of the best ways to trim off that stubborn belly fat.
See also: off, trim

trim up

1. To trim something to the correct or desired shape or appearance. A noun or pronoun is used between "trim" and "up." I asked our gardener to trim up the hedges. The window frame is not fitting quite right in the wall, so I'll need to trim it up a bit. You need to trim your beard up a bit.
2. To give someone a minor haircut. A noun or pronoun is used between "trim" and "up." I'm not looking for any fancy new hairstyle. Just trim me up a little. I want to get trimmed up before my big meeting tomorrow.
3. To decorate or adorn something to the desired degree. A noun or pronoun is used between "trim" and "up." We're going to trim up the Christmas tree on Saturday. My job is to trim the window displays up at the start of each season.
4. To put up decorations for Christmas. Primarily heard in UK. People shouldn't be allowed to start trimming up until at least the middle of November!
5. In sailing, to cause the fore of the vessel to raise up by shifting its balance towards the aft. Primarily heard in UK. You'll need to trim up a bit before you start slowing down, otherwise the nose might dip into the water.
See also: trim, up
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

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
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

trim one's sails, to

To modify one’s stand, adapting it to circumstances. Trimming a boat’s sails means simply to adjust them so as to take advantage of current wind conditions. The term was transferred to human affairs by 1800 or so, but may be obsolescent today. Lytton Strachey used it in Elizabeth and Essex (1928): “Burghley, trimming his sails to the changing wind, thought it advisable to take the side of Essex.”
See also: trim
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
Thankfully, the new Wahl Lithium Ion Vacuum Trimmer is designed with easy cleaning in mind.
Many lathe trimmers can be fitted with a drill motor, not only preventing blisters but potentially increasing RPMs, preventing the dreaded burrs from forming around the case mouth.
Available in stores since Thursday, the 'his and purrs' trimmers could provide the perfect opPAWtunity to get man's best friend and his owner as well-groomed as each other.
One of the best attachments of a professional trimmer that I have used extensively is the brush cutter.
As a main trimmer facing inwards and protected from the bad waves (a benefit), you don't get to see the wind pressure changing or the waves coming (a disadvantage), so make sure there's always a loud voice on the rail providing you with this intel.
The report covers the present scenario and the growth prospects of the global tree trimmer market for 2016-2020 To calculate the market size, we use the revenue generated from the sale of tree trimmers manufactured and marketed by companies worldwide.
"Most trend setters see the next thing as tamed beards and creative facial hair styles," and the new Total Beard Trimmer allows men to personalize their approach to beard trimming.
BLACK+Decker has announced additions to their collection of 40V MAX outdoor tools with the 40V Max Brushless Trimmer & Edger and the 40V Max 20-inch and 16-inch lawnmowers with AutoSense technology.
Blueline Manufacturing and Equipment of Moxee, Wash., produces two- and four-head reciprocating vine trimmers. The four-head trimmer features two separate frames that can be adjusted for various row heights.
Dual angle aDjustable HeDge trimmer just PS59.99 plus p&p Not just your average hedge trimmer, the incredible dual angle 550W adjustable hedge trimmer lets you tackle a whole range of hedges and get creative with topiary.
Is a nose hair trimmer an appropriate gift for a family member in need?
Philips introduces the Beard Trimmer 9000, the first laser-guided beard trimmer in the world, helping men to plan and perfect their desired beard style.
Skipper: Jimmy Spithill (9), Tactician: Ben Ainslie (12), Strategist: Tom Slingsby (10), Wing trimmer: Kyle Langford (8), Jib trimmer: Joe Newton (5), Off-side trimmer: Rome Kirby (4), Grinders: Shannon Falcone (1), Joe Spooner (2), Jono MacBeth (3), Gillo Nobili (6), Simeon Tienpont (7)
One of Andis' more recent product launches in this area is the VersaTrim Personal Trimmer, a cordless product that comes in a 14-piece set enabling users to trim facial hair to any length and style.