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See also: Shim and SHIM


English Wikipedia has articles on:


  • IPA(key): /ʃɪm/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɪm

Etymology 1[edit]

Unknown; from Kent.[1][2] Originally a piece of iron attached to a plow; sense of “thin piece of wood” from 1723, sense of “thin piece of material used for alignment or support” from 1860.


shim (plural shims)

  1. A wedge.
  2. A thin piece of material, sometimes tapered, used for alignment or support.
    • 2016 January 30, Jeff Howell, “Swinging doors: it's not open and shut”, in The Daily Telegraph (Property), page 15:
      The second adjustment [to a door that keeps swinging open] will require the screws to be loosened, and a shim or packing piece pushed behind the hinge to bring it into line.
  3. (computing) A small library that transparently intercepts and modifies calls to an API, usually for compatibility purposes.
    • 2010, Russell Smith, Least Privilege Security for Windows 7, Vista and XP
      Shims intercept Win32 API calls from legacy applications, as defined by system administrators, and then modify the call before passing the code to Windows for execution.
  4. A kind of shallow plow used in tillage to break the ground and clear it of weeds.
  5. A small metal device used to pick open a lock.


shim (third-person singular simple present shims, present participle shimming, simple past and past participle shimmed)

  1. To fit one or more shims to a piece of machinery.
  2. To adjust something by using shims.
  3. (computing, transitive) To intercept and modify calls to (an API), usually for compatibility purposes.

Etymology 2[edit]

Blend of she +‎ him.


shim (plural shims)

  1. (informal, often derogatory) A transsexual person, especially a trans woman; (loosely) a drag queen or transvestite.
    Synonym: (derogatory) he-she
    • 1998, Hobart Student Association, The Seneca review:
      He — or "Shim" (she/him), as film director John Waters called the actor Divine — was as much a paradoxical as a perverse fellow.
    • 1995, The Advocate - May 30, 1995 - Page 11:
      "We call him shim— short for 'she-him.'
  2. (informal, often derogatory) A person characterised by both male and female traits, or by ambiguous male-female traits; a hermaphrodite.
    • 2009, Laurie Notaro, The Idiot Girl and the Flaming Tantrum of Death: Reflections on Revenge, Germophobia, and Laser Hair Removal, Ballantine Books (→ISBN), page 89:
      [] that I was a hermaphrodite, and that things would probably be getting much, much worse as other "parts" of me began to grow manly and I made the full transformation into a "shim."


  1. ^ Douglas Harper (2001–2021), “shim”, in Online Etymology Dictionary.
  2. ^ shim”, in Merriam–Webster Online Dictionary.





  1. eye



shim (plural shimlar)

  1. pants