aim


aim
\ \ [14] Etymologically, aim is a contraction of estimate (see ESTEEM). The Latin verb aestimāre became considerably shortened as it developed in the various Romance languages (Italian has stimare, for instance, and Provençal esmar). In Old French its descendant was esmer, to which was added the prefix a- (from Latin ad- ‘to’), producing aesmer; and from one or both of these English acquired aim. The notion of estimating or calculating was carried over into the English verb, but died out after about a hundred years.
\ \ However, the derived sense of calculating, and hence directing, one’s course is of equal antiquity in the language.
\ \ Cf.ESTEEM, ESTIMATE

Word origins - 2ed. . 2005.

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