noun, often attributive \ˈskin\

: 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.

Full Definition of SKIN

a (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 animal
c (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
a :  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 dermis
b :  an outer covering (as a rind or husk) of a fruit or seed
c :  a membranous film or scum (as on boiling milk or drying paint)
:  the life or physical well-being of a person <saved his own skin>
:  a sheathing or casing forming the outside surface of a structure (as a ship or airplane)
skin·less \-ləs\ adjective
by the skin of one's teeth
:  by a very narrow margin
under one's skin
:  so deeply penetrative as to irritate, stimulate, provoke thought, or otherwise excite
under the skin
:  beneath apparent or surface differences :  at heart

Examples of SKIN

  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

chamois, fell, kip

Rhymes with SKIN



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

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


Full Definition of SKIN

transitive verb
a :  to strip, scrape, or rub off an outer covering (as the skin or rind) of
b :  to strip or peel off
c :  to cut, chip, or damage the surface of <fell and skinned my knee>
a :  to cover with or as if with skin
b :  to heal over with skin
a :  to strip of money or property :  fleece
b :  to defeat badly
c :  censure, castigate
:  to urge on and direct the course of (as a draft animal)
intransitive verb
:  to become covered with or as if with skin
a :  shinny
b :  to pass or get by with scant room to spare

Examples of SKIN

  1. The hunter skinned the rabbit and prepared it for cooking.
  2. I skinned my knee when I fell.

First Known Use of SKIN

14th century

Related to SKIN



Definition of SKIN

:  devoted to showing nudes <skin magazines>

First Known Use of SKIN



noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

A section through the skin. The tough, dead cells of the outer epidermal surface (corneal layer) …—© Merriam-Webster Inc.

Surface covering of the body that protects it and receives external sensory stimuli, consisting of an epidermis over a thicker dermis. The epidermis contains cells involved in immune defenses, sensory receptors, pigment cells, and keratin-producing cells. The last harden and migrate to the surface to form a dead, relatively dry outer layer of horny tissue that constantly sloughs away. The dermis contains sensory nerves and blood vessels within connective tissue. Collagen and elastin fibres give skin its tough, elastic quality. Cells scattered through it produce its components and take part in immune and other skin responses. A fat layer under the dermis provides nutritional storage, cushioning, and insulation. Skin disorders range from dermatitis and acne to skin cancer. Changes in skin colour (e.g., jaundice) or texture may be clues to systemic disorders. See also dermatology; hair; integument; nail; perspiration; sebaceous gland; sweat gland.


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