skim·​mer ˈski-mər How to pronounce skimmer (audio)
: one that skims
specifically : a flat perforated scoop or spoon used for skimming
: any of a small genus (Rynchops) of long-winged marine birds that have the lower mandible longer than the upper
: a usually straw flat-crowned hat with a wide straight brim
: a fitted sleeveless dress with a usually flaring skirt
: 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

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Suction-side pool cleaners connect to the skimmer or a dedicated suction to suck up dirt and debris. Jamie Weissman, Better Homes & Gardens, 18 Apr. 2023 Martha’s Vineyard: Thirty black skimmers at the Joseph Sylvia State Beach, two Swainson’s thrushes at the Wasque Reservation, a blue grosbeak at the Cape Poge Wildlife Refuge, and three Harlequin ducks. Isabela Rocha,, 6 May 2023 The filtration pump draws water from the pool’s bottom drains, sends the surface water through an automatic skimmer, and then passes everything through a filter before re-circulating back into the pool. Joseph Truini, Popular Mechanics, 29 Apr. 2023 Get yourself a small ladder, skimmer, and a sand filter or cartridge filter system to complete your backyard pool setup. Bryce Jones, Better Homes & Gardens, 1 Mar. 2023 The Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office says it was first alerted to skimmers being placed on local bank ATMs last Wednesday. Warren Kulo |, al, 25 Apr. 2023 The Coast Guard estimates cleanup teams have so far removed 60% of the oil that has reached the shores of a dozen towns in Oriental Mindoro, using booms and skimmer vessels. Kathleen Magramo, CNN, 5 Apr. 2023 This includes scams, malicious software, and ATM skimmers, to name just a few threats. Marc Saltzman, USA TODAY, 18 Mar. 2023 The United States Secret Service, which specializes in wire and technological fraud, responded and collected the skimmer devices for their investigation. Brian Planalp, The Enquirer, 13 Dec. 2022 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near skimmer

Cite this Entry

“Skimmer.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition


skim·​mer ˈskim-ər How to pronounce skimmer (audio)
: one that skims
especially : a flat scoop or spoon with holes that is used for skimming

More from Merriam-Webster on skimmer

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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