aim (v.)

c. 1300, "to estimate (number or size), calculate, count," senses now obsolete, from Old French aesmer, esmer (Old North French amer) "to value, rate; count, estimate," ultimately from Latin aestimare "appraise, determine the value of" (see esteem (v.)).

The meaning in English apparently developed from "calculate," to "calculate with a view to action, plan," then to "direct a missile, a blow, etc." (late 14c.). It also was used in Middle English of directing a letter, planting an altar, pitching a tent. The intransitive sense of "intend, attempt" (early 14c.) was used by Shakespeare but is now considered colloquial. Related: Aimed; aiming.

aim (n.)

late 14c., "a purpose, thing intended;" from aim (v.) or from nouns from the verb in Old French. The meaning "action of aiming" is from early 15c. To take aim originally was make aim (early 15c.).

updated on September 16, 2022