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See also: Shim and SHIM


English Wikipedia has an article on:
A stack of wood shims (sense 2) used in construction.


  • 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. To adjust the homogeneity of a magnetic field, after the mechanical devices once used for the purpose.
  4. (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, The Seneca review, Hobart Student Association:
      He — or "Shim" (she/him), as film director John Waters called the actor Divine — was as much a paradoxical as a perverse fellow.
    • 1995 May 30, The Advocate, page 11:
      "We call him shim— short for 'she-him.'
    • 2004 July 26, grdog, “Wisdom of Great Leaders”, in alt.bitch.pork[1] (Usenet):
      Yes Maam, or Sir or just what / how do you address a shim?
  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 (2001–2024), “shim”, in Online Etymology Dictionary.
  2. ^ shim”, in Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, Springfield, Mass.: Merriam-Webster, 1996–present.

See also[edit]





  1. eye



shim (plural shimlar)

  1. pants