skim

verb
\ ˈskim \
skimmed; skimming

Definition of skim

 (Entry 1 of 3)

transitive verb

1a : 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
6a : 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

1a : 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

skim

noun

Definition of skim (Entry 2 of 3)

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

skim

adjective

Definition of skim (Entry 3 of 3)

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

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Synonyms for skim

Synonyms: Verb

flip, leaf, riffle, thumb

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Examples of skim in a Sentence

Verb

He skimmed the leaves from the pool. The cream is skimmed from the milk. The milk is skimmed before it is bottled. She only skimmed the reading assignment. She only skimmed through the reading assignment.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Some of her family members have jumped on the train, too: Kim Kardashian West wore a body-skimming highlighter green dress to 2 Chainz’s wedding this past August. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, "Kendall Jenner’s Been Wearing a Lot of Neon Green—Here’s What It Means," 2 Jan. 2019 This body-skimming sheath, made from flattering stretch wool, will never go out of style. Caitlin King, The Seattle Times, "5 office essentials for a more fashionable fall," 1 Oct. 2018 Nolen and his fellow researchers worked with data provided by the New York City Police Department (NYPD) to assess the types of credit-card-skimming gear currently in the wild. Sean Gallagher, Ars Technica, "Credit card skimmers now need to fear the Reaper," 15 Aug. 2018 Grab a drink from the bar at the base—served in plastic sippy cups for safety—then prepare for a dizzying experience aboard this sky-skimming Ferris wheel. Jessica Voelker, Condé Nast Traveler, "Seattle’s Space Needle Unveils Its $100M Renovation," 2 Aug. 2018 Clients wearing floor-skimming gowns at 10 a.m. linger in front of photographers, hoping to have their picture taken. Chloe Malle, WSJ, "How Designer Wes Gordon is Reimagining Carolina Herrera for the Next Generation," 6 Dec. 2018 Remove pork from liquid, discard lime halves and skim off and discard fat. The Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen, Good Housekeeping, "Maple-Glazed Five-Spice Pork," 9 Oct. 2018 Add the meat and cook, skimming the foam from the surface, until tender, about 1 hour. Chris Ross, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Cuban shredded beef has origins in Spain," 25 June 2018 Strain syrup into a jar and refrigerate; skim off any pectin that rises to the surface. Anne Brockhoff, kansascity, "Distill their hearts: Why craft liquor and weddings are the hottest new pairing | The Kansas City Star," 22 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Between 1980 and 2014, sales of whole milk decreased 45 percent as sales of 2 percent and skim rose 7 percent and 9 percent, respectively. Jamie Lauren Keiles, Vox, "How low-fat dairy came to rule the US — and why that’s changing.," 20 Dec. 2018 Then, it was raided by the IRS, and its owners’ outrageous, barely concealed skim operation—they’d been making off with something like 80 percent of the nightly take—was revealed. Julia Felsenthal, Vogue, "Matt Tyrnauer’s New Documentary, Studio 54, Takes On the Rise, Fall, and Last Days of Disco," 4 Oct. 2018 Top GG’s pizza with a low-sodium pizza sauce (with no added sugar, please!), part-skim cheeses, even more veggies, and a lean protein of your choice (like chicken, seafood, or lean cuts of strip steak). Jaclyn London, Ms, Rd, Cdn, Good Housekeeping, "Frozen Cauliflower Pizza Crust From Green Giant Is Officially Hitting Grocery Stores This Fall," 20 Aug. 2018 The cereal offerings on the menu ($5) can be topped with whole, skim, soy, and chocolate milks. Michael Klein, Philly.com, "Cereal and ice cream, together at Moo Moo Cereal Milk Bar," 5 July 2018 Cover the filling with a piece of plastic wrap to prevent a skim from forming. 7. Lauren Delgado, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Royal Wedding Pie celebrates upcoming nuptials - and pie," 18 May 2018 The tradition for the winner of the Indy 500 is celebrating with a bottle of milk, and the drivers are polled to select a preference: whole, 2 percent or skim. Michelle R. Martinelli, For The Win, "Indy 500 winner Will Power says he actually has strong willpower," 28 May 2018 Meanwhile coaches, athletics directors and vice chancellors make seven-figure salaries off the kids' sweat and take the skim from $10 billion in deals with television and apparel companies. Sally Jenkins, chicagotribune.com, "As Arike Ogunbowale dances with gusto, the NCAA sidesteps with cowardice," 2 May 2018 For instance, the various right whales use skim-feeding, swimming with their mouths open at the surface to strain out prey. National Geographic, "Prehistoric Toothless Whale Among Oldest of Its Kind," 19 Apr. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of skim

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1794, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for skim

Verb

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

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Learn More about skim

Dictionary Entries near skim

skilly

skilo

skils

skim

ski mask

skimback

skimble-skamble

Statistics for skim

Last Updated

13 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for skim

The first known use of skim was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for skim

skim

verb

English Language Learners Definition of skim

: 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

verb
\ ˈskim \
skimmed; skimming

Kids Definition of skim

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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More from Merriam-Webster on skim

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with skim

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for skim

Spanish Central: Translation of skim

Nglish: Translation of skim for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of skim for Arabic Speakers

Comments on skim

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