skim·​mer | \ ˈski-mər How to pronounce skimmer (audio) \

Definition of skimmer

1 : one that skims specifically : a flat perforated scoop or spoon used for skimming
2 : any of a small genus (Rynchops) of long-winged marine birds that have the lower mandible longer than the upper
3 : a usually straw flat-crowned hat with a wide straight brim
4 : a fitted sleeveless dress with a usually flaring skirt
5 : a device that is attached to an electronic card reader (as on an ATM) and used to obtain data (such as a credit card number) secretly and illicitly The credit union said someone had fitted a skimmer over the ATM card slot to collect information on inserted cards but the company said it wasn't sure how many cards had been affected at this time.The Leader-Herald (Gloversville, NewYork) Once you put your card in, the device, called a skimmer, reads and records all the account information stored on the magnetic strip, and even retrieves your PIN as you punch it into the keypad.— Mary Hunt

Examples of skimmer in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The thieves often steal the credit card numbers from other gas pumps with devices called skimmers, which, once illegally installed, can transmit customers’ financial information via text message. Mario Ariza,, "Fuel-theft rings fill South Florida roads with ‘moving bombs’," 11 Nov. 2019 Nantucket: Lingering migrants and summer residents including a piping plover, a black skimmer, and a magnolia warbler last week., "Most read on," 3 Nov. 2019 Using a slotted spoon or a skimmer, drain and set aside. Tara Duggan,, "Recipe: Lentil croquettes from Bar Tartine alumni," 4 Oct. 2019 Several gas pump skimmers were found Wednesday in the latest sweep for the devices that steal customers' debit and credit card information, this time in Pasco County. Tiffini Theisen,, "Several more credit-card number stealing skimmers found in latest sweep of gas pumps in Florida," 9 Aug. 2019 There were also two black skimmers, three red knots, three stilt sandpipers, three seaside sparrows, four orchard orioles, and 10 saltmarsh sparrows., "Bird sightings," 4 Aug. 2019 Officials from the Texas Department of Agriculture are asking Fort Bend County residents to stay vigilant at the pump after two credit card skimmers were found at a Richmond gas station Thursday. Rebecca Hennes, Houston Chronicle, "Credit card skimmers found at Richmond gas station, officials warn public to stay vigilant," 19 July 2019 The hidden skimmer records the numbers of customers’ cards and the crooks pull up and download the data in a few seconds onto their phones. Fortune, "Why Twitter Has Regrets About Killing Vine. Hint: It’s Called TikTok—Data Sheet," 15 Aug. 2019 Flanagan said officers in New York recently found the first skimmer using the device at an ATM in Brooklyn. Jason Dearen And Josh Replogle,, "'Skim Reaper' developed at University of Florida to fight credit card skimming," 10 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'skimmer.' 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 skimmer

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for skimmer

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

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Statistics for skimmer

Last Updated

5 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Skimmer.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 6 December 2019.

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How to pronounce skimmer (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of skimmer

: a spoon with holes in it that is used by cooks for skimming things

More from Merriam-Webster on skimmer

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with skimmer Encyclopedia article about skimmer

Comments on skimmer

What made you want to look up skimmer? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


very cautious or careful

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