skim

1 of 3

verb

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

skim

2 of 3

noun

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

skim

3 of 3

adjective

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

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.
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
The skirt skims just above the knee and is ready for pretty much any evening soiree. Wendy Vazquez, Southern Living, 23 Feb. 2024 Archie League soared through the skies, skimming cow barns co-piloted by danger. Kerry J. Byrne Fox News, Fox News, 16 Feb. 2024 Boil for 2 to 3 hours, skimming often within the first 20 to 30 minutes and removing any impurities from broth. Caron Golden, San Diego Union-Tribune, 14 Feb. 2024 White actors were cast to play Asian and Indigenous figures, the special effects couldn’t hold a candle to the theatrics of the original animation, and all of season 1’s main events were skimmed over in less than a two-hour runtime. EW.com, 29 Jan. 2024 Although skimming reports decreased in California, the report said, the Golden State still remained the top state for skimming activity in the nation. Jacqueline Pinedo, Sacramento Bee, 27 Jan. 2024 The Wunder Train Contour Fit High-Rise Tight leggings have a fit that narrows at the waistband to avoid any gaping and skims your thighs and hips effortlessly. Cai Cramer, Peoplemag, 6 Feb. 2024 In the 1970s, federal authorities investigating mobsters in Kansas City charged more than a dozen mob operatives with conspiring to skim nearly $2 million in gambling revenue from Las Vegas casinos, including the Tropicana. Rio Yamat, Fortune, 31 Jan. 2024 Be alert for skimming devices in tourist areas, which are popular targets. Dalia Faheid, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 30 Jan. 2024
Noun
This dramatic style features an ultra-short undercut on one side, while letting the other side skim long down the face. Kaitlyn Yarborough, Southern Living, 13 Feb. 2024 Then, click on Manage your information and skim through all the available options to get a better grasp on your choices. Reece Rogers, WIRED, 19 Jan. 2024 Meanwhile, using a large spoon, skim excess fat from surface of soup. Tribune News Service, Hartford Courant, 14 Jan. 2024 If you are already versed in generative AI, perhaps do a fast skim on this portion. Lance Eliot, Forbes, 17 July 2023 Remove from heat and skim most of the fat, (not all of it, leave a little bit for flavor). Sam Burros, Peoplemag, 10 Oct. 2023 For toddlers over age 2, it's generally recommended to switch to a milk with a lower fat content, such as 2% or skim. Erin Smith, Parents, 10 Sep. 2023 Baker's Tip When using this frosting to decorate a cake, keep loose cake crumbs from mixing into the frosting by applying a thin layer of frosting (a skim coat or crumb coat) to the cake. Sheri Castle, Southern Living, 1 Sep. 2023 Each incorporates swing-wings and NK-25 turbofan engines that enable it to both race up to twice the speed of sound and skim at slower speeds very close to the surface. Sébastien Roblin, Popular Mechanics, 24 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'skim.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near skim

Cite this Entry

“Skim.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/skim. Accessed 3 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition

skim

1 of 3 verb
skimmed; skimming
1
a
: to clear a liquid of scum or floating substance : remove (as film or scum) from the surface of a liquid
b
: to remove cream from by skimming
2
: to glance through (as a book) for the chief ideas or the plot
3
: to throw so as to bounce along the surface of water
4
: to pass swiftly or lightly over : glide or skip along, above, or near a surface

skim

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

skim

3 of 3 adjective
: having the cream removed by skimming

More from Merriam-Webster on skim

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