trim(redirected from trims)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Acronyms, Encyclopedia.
Like this video? Subscribe to our free daily email and get a new idiom video every day!
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.
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'll be in trim for my island vacation.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!"
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
trim the fat
To excise or discard elements that are seen as superfluous or unnecessary. A: "Our annual budget is still too high. Surely you can trim the fat a bit more." B: "Sir, there's no more fat to trim—if we cut the budget any further, we won't be able to operate properly." Your story is good and your writing is solid, but you need to trim the fat a bit. There are just so many characters and plot points that aren't meaningful.
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. nautical 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.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
trim something off (of) someone or somethingand 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.
trim something with something
to decorate something with something. She trimmed the dress with lace. Bobby and Timmy trimmed the tree with colorful ornaments.
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]
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 trimmainly 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.
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
in trimslim and healthy.
trim your sailsmake changes to suit your new circumstances.
Literally, trim a sail means ‘adjust the sail of a boat to take advantage of the wind’.
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)
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.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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.
To remove some excess by or as if by cutting: I trimmed off the rotten wood. The barber will trim my bangs off.
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.”
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer