See also: Trimmer


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From trim +‎ -er.




  1. comparative form of trim: more trim


trimmer (plural trimmers)

  1. One who trims, arranges, fits, or ornaments.
    • 1944, Emily Carr, The House of All Sorts, “Life Loves Living,”[1]
      It put me to endless expense of having roof-men, gutter-men and tree-trimmers. At last I gave the grim order, “Cut her down.”
  2. A device used to trim.
    My new electric shaver has a beard trimmer attachment.
  3. (nautical) A member of the crew who trims the sails.
    Synonym: sail trimmer
    Hyponyms: wing trimmer, headsail trimmer, mainsheet trimmer
  4. Someone who fluctuates between opposing factions, political parties etc., according to current interest, a flip-flopper.
    • 1848, Baron Macaulay, History of England, I.2:
      Thus Halifax was a Trimmer on principle.
    • 1999, Bill Moyers, “Stanley Kunitz”, in Fooling With Words : A Celebration of Poets and Their Craft, New York, N.Y.: William Morrow and Company, Inc., →ISBN, page 6:
      What do you love most?
          Most of all, I love being alive. I love the natural world—and caring and creative people—and the seekers of justice and truth. Whom do I disdain? Bigots, reactionaries, self-righteous people, zealots, trimmers, bullies, and manipulators.
    • 2011, Thomas Penn, Winter King, Penguin 2012, p. 9:
      Lady Margaret Beaufort's third husband, Lord Stanley, an accomplished political trimmer, gave fair words but little commitment: the vast, well-armed Stanley retinues shadowed Henry's route southeast to the battlefield and waited, detached, to see how the chips fell.
  5. (architecture) A beam into which are framed the ends of headers in floor framing, as when a hole is to be left for stairs, or to avoid bringing joists near chimneys.
  6. (shipping, historical) A person employed to rearrange the coal in the hold of a vessel, so that it fills the vessel without forming a conical blockage.
    • 1945 January and February, T. F. Cameron, “Dock Working”, in Railway Magazine, page 11:
      Trimmers are used to stow the coal in the vessel, and, in the case of vessels with awkwardly-situated cargo spaces, a great deal of trimming may be involved. Vessels specially constructed for coal carrying have very wide hatches, and these may be easy trimmers, that is, need only a minimum of trimmers or self trimmers which require only the final cover of coal over each hold to be levelled down by trimmers. Trimmers are employed by the shipowners and they are paid tonnage rates.
  7. (mining, historical) A device for storing coal in gradually increasing piles made by building up at the point of the cone or top of the prism.
  8. (fishing) A float bearing a baited hook and line, used in fishing for pike.
  9. (dated) One who or that which trims, or rebukes or reproves; a scold.
    • 1853, Edward Bulwer-Lytton, My Novel, or Varieties in English Life
      Mr. Hazeldean wrote him such a trimmer that it could not but produce an unconciliatory reply.

Derived termsEdit