1

skim

verb \ ˈskim \
Updated on: 8 Nov 2017

Definition of skim

skimmed; skimming
transitive verb
1 a :to clear (a liquid) of scum or floating substance
  • skim boiling syrup
b :to remove (a film, a layer of scum, etc.) from the surface of a liquid
c :to remove cream from by skimming
d :to remove the best or most easily obtainable contents from
2 :to read, study, or examine superficially and rapidly; especially :to glance through (something, such as a book) for the chief ideas or the plot
3 :to throw in a gliding path; especially :to throw so as to ricochet along the surface of water
4 :to cover with or as if with a film, scum, or coat
5 :to pass swiftly or lightly over
6 a :to remove or conceal (money, such as a portion of casino profits) to avoid payment of taxes
b :embezzle
  • skimming money from employee pension plans
intransitive verb
1 a :to pass lightly or hastily :glide or skip along, above, or near a surface
b :to give a cursory glance, consideration, or reading
2 :to become coated with a thin layer of film or scum
3 :to put on a finishing coat of plaster
4 :to embezzle money

Examples of skim in a Sentence

  1. He skimmed the leaves from the pool.

  2. The cream is skimmed from the milk.

  3. The milk is skimmed before it is bottled.

  4. She only skimmed the reading assignment.

  5. She only skimmed through the reading assignment.

Recent Examples of skim from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'skim.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of skim

Middle English skymmen, skemen, probably from Anglo-French escumer, from escume foam, scum, of Germanic origin; akin to Middle Dutch schum scum — more at scum

skim Synonyms

Synonyms
flip, leaf, riffle, thumb
Antonyms
flounder, struggle
Related Words
browse, dip; glance (at), look over, scan
Near Antonyms
pore (over); study

2

skim

noun

Definition of skim

1 :a thin layer, coating, or film
2 :the act of skimming
3 :something skimmed; specifically :skim milk

Recent Examples of skim from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'skim.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of skim

14th century


3

skim

adjective

Definition of skim

1 :having the cream removed by skimming
2 :made of skim milk
  • skim cheese

First Known Use of skim

1794



SKIM Defined for English Language Learners

skim

verb

Definition of skim for English Language Learners

  • : to remove a layer of something from the surface of a liquid

  • : to look over or read (something) quickly especially to find the main ideas

  • : to throw (a flat stone) along the surface of water so that it bounces


SKIM Defined for Kids

skim

verb \ ˈskim \

Definition of skim for Students

skimmed; skimming
1 :to clean a liquid of scum or floating substance :remove (as cream or film) from the top part of a liquid
2 :to read or examine quickly and not thoroughly
  • I skimmed the newspaper.
3 :to skip (a stone) along the surface of water
4 :to pass swiftly or lightly over
  • He brushed the treetops / And skimmed the grass …
  • —Shel Silverstein, Where the Sidewalk Ends


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