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noun, often attributive \ˈskin\

Simple Definition of skin

  • : the natural outer layer of tissue that covers the body of a person or animal

  • : the skin of an animal that has been removed from the body often with its hair or feathers still attached and that is used to make things (such as clothes)

  • : the outer covering of a fruit, vegetable, etc.

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of skin

  1. 1a (1) :  the integument of an animal (as a fur-bearing mammal or a bird) separated from the body usually with its hair or feathers (2) :  a usually unmounted specimen of a vertebrate (as in a museum)b :  the hide or pelt of a game or domestic animalc (1) :  the pelt of an animal prepared for use as a trimming or in a garment — compare 4hide (2) :  a sheet of parchment or vellum made from a hide (3) :  bottle 1b

  2. 2a :  the external limiting tissue layer of an animal body; especially :  the 2-layered covering of a vertebrate body consisting of an outer epidermis and an inner dermisb :  an outer covering (as a rind or husk) of a fruit or seedc :  a membranous film or scum (as on boiling milk or drying paint)

  3. 3 :  the life or physical well-being of a person <saved his own skin>

  4. 4 :  a sheathing or casing forming the outside surface of a structure (as a ship or airplane)

skinless play \-ləs\ adjective
by the skin of one's teeth
  1. :  by a very narrow margin

under one's skin
  1. :  so deeply penetrative as to irritate, stimulate, provoke thought, or otherwise excite

under the skin
  1. :  beneath apparent or surface differences :  at heart

Examples of skin in a sentence

  1. the rough skin of a shark

  2. Choose makeup that matches your skin tone.

  3. These snakes shed their skins once a year.

  4. Native Americans had many uses for animal skins.

  5. His boots are made of alligator skin.

  6. Potato skin is very nutritious.

Origin of skin

Middle English, from Old Norse skinn; akin to Old English scinn skin, Middle High German schint fruit peel

First Known Use: 13th century

Other Fur and Leather Terms

Rhymes with skin




Simple Definition of skin

  • : to remove the skin of (an animal, fruit, or vegetable)

  • : to scrape or rub off some of the skin from (a body part)

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of skin


  1. transitive verb
  2. 1a :  to strip, scrape, or rub off an outer covering (as the skin or rind) ofb :  to strip or peel offc :  to cut, chip, or damage the surface of <fell and skinned my knee>

  3. 2a :  to cover with or as if with skinb :  to heal over with skin

  4. 3a :  to strip of money or property :  fleeceb :  to defeat badlyc :  censure, castigate

  5. 4 :  to urge on and direct the course of (as a draft animal)

  6. intransitive verb
  7. 1 :  to become covered with or as if with skin

  8. 2a :  shinnyb :  to pass or get by with scant room to spare

Examples of skin in a sentence

  1. The hunter skinned the rabbit and prepared it for cooking.

  2. I skinned my knee when I fell.

14th Century

First Known Use of skin

14th century




Definition of skin

  1. :  devoted to showing nudes <skin magazines>


First Known Use of skin


SKIN Defined for Kids



noun \ˈskin\

Definition of skin for Students

  1. 1 :  the usually flexible outer layer of an animal body that in vertebrate animals is made up of two layers of cells forming an inner dermis and an outer epidermis

  2. 2 :  the hide of an animal

  3. 3 :  an outer or surface layer <potato skins>

skinless \-ləs\ adjective
skinned \ˈskind\ adjective <smooth-skinned>




Definition of skin for Students


  1. 1 :  to strip, scrape, or rub off the skin of <This was the first summer her knees had not been skinned a dozen times … — Betsy Byars, The Summer of the Swans>

  2. 2 :  to remove an outer layer from (as by peeling)

Seen and Heard

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