skim

verb
\ ˈskim How to pronounce skim (audio) \
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

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

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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 But far from exaggerating the truth, The Crown actually downplayed how extraordinary the real young Princess Anne was, and skimmed over several of the most significant events in her life altogether. Emma Dibdin, Town & Country, "The Crown Season 3 Sidelined Princess Anne and Her Accomplishments," 15 Dec. 2019 Still, his pictures are deliberately noncommittal, allowing viewers to affix their own conceptions to the subjects, skimming the surface of deeply intractable social problems rather than engaging with them fully. Max Lakin, New York Times, "JR’s Street Gallery Comes Indoors," 11 Dec. 2019 While Gomez has previously sported shoulder-skimming lengths, her latest style, a swingy bob, was accented with a bevy of chunky, strategically placed highlights that recalled the telltale color trend of the '90s. Jenna Rennert, Vogue, "Selena Gomez Debuts a '90s-Inspired Bob at the AMAs," 25 Nov. 2019 In a self-portrait of Cathryne’s, she’s thrown her blonde mane into a stream and is kneeling before it, chin to chest, her hands in the mud and locks of hair skimming the surface of the water. Eryn Loeb, Longreads, "When Friendship Fades But the Images Linger," 9 Aug. 2019 Use a fine-mesh sieve to skim off any hulls or chaff from the surface of the water, being careful not to disturb the water too much so that none of the bits sink back into the grits. ExpressNews.com, "Recipe: Traditional Shrimp and Grits," 4 Dec. 2019 The first uses smoke from a lighted candle to create impressions on paint, while the last finds charcoal or chalk dust scattered across a watery surface and skimmed off with a stiff piece of paper. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "Tate Acquires Archive of Works by Little-Known Surrealist Ithell Colquhoun," 17 July 2019 Separately, he was sentenced to prison in the 1980s for conspiring to bribe a U.S. senator and his role in a scheme to skim $2 million from a casino in Las Vegas, the Tribune added. Fox News, "Joey 'the Clown' Lombardo, infamous Chicago mobster, dead at 90, reports say," 21 Oct. 2019 The new offerings have been a factor in skimming some business, not only in Louisville, Tony Rodio, Caesars' chief executive, said in a brief interview, but it's not diminished the company's confidence in this marketplace. Grace Schneider, The Courier-Journal, "Caesars debuts new $90 million land-based casino in Southern Indiana," 12 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Sample menus replaced hot dogs with whole wheat spaghetti, pizza sticks with chef salads, and whole milk with skim. Elaine S. Povich, chicagotribune.com, "Students, bored by cafeteria fare, love food delivery services; schools don’t.," 1 Aug. 2019 Had to be whole milk, of course; none of that suck-sauce skim. James Lileks, National Review, "Okay Stupid," 19 Dec. 2019 Venus will rise high each day as the two planets skim by one another. Joseph Neese, House Beautiful, "Venus and Saturn Are Going to "Kiss" in the Night Sky This Week," 7 Dec. 2019 Sample menus replaced hot dogs with whole wheat spaghetti, pizza sticks with chef salads, and whole milk with skim. Elaine S. Povich, chicagotribune.com, "Students, bored by cafeteria fare, love food delivery services; schools don’t.," 1 Aug. 2019 Sample menus replaced hot dogs with whole wheat spaghetti, pizza sticks with chef salads, and whole milk with skim. Elaine S. Povich, chicagotribune.com, "Students, bored by cafeteria fare, love food delivery services; schools don’t.," 1 Aug. 2019 Though some dietitians continue to recommend low-fat or part-skim options, recent research suggests that this, too, might be a more complex issue. Jenna Birch, Washington Post, "From feta to American slices, a ranking of cheeses by healthfulness," 2 Sep. 2019 Remove from heat, skim at once, and pour into hot, sterilized jars. oregonlive.com, "Need to know if a fruit is safe to eat? Ask an expert," 23 Aug. 2019 Sample menus replaced hot dogs with whole wheat spaghetti, pizza sticks with chef salads, and whole milk with skim. Elaine S. Povich, baltimoresun.com, "Students, bored by cafeteria fare, love food delivery services; schools don’t.," 13 Aug. 2019

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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Time Traveler for skim

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for skim

Last Updated

10 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Skim.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/skim?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=s&file=skim0001. Accessed 23 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for skim

skim

verb
How to pronounce skim (audio)

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

skim

verb
\ ˈskim How to pronounce skim (audio) \
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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for skim

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with skim

Spanish Central: Translation of skim

Nglish: Translation of skim for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of skim for Arabic Speakers

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