skin

noun, often attributive
\ ˈskin How to pronounce skin (audio) \

Definition of skin

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a(1) : the integument of an animal (such as a fur-bearing mammal or a bird) separated from the body usually with its hair or feathers
(2) : a usually unmounted specimen of a vertebrate (as in a museum)
b : the hide or pelt of a game or domestic animal
c(1) : the pelt of an animal prepared for use as a trimming or in a garment — compare hide entry 2
(2) : a sheet of parchment or vellum made from a hide
2a : the external limiting tissue layer of an animal body especially : the 2-layered covering of a vertebrate body consisting of an outer epidermis and an inner dermis
b : an outer covering (such as a rind or husk) of a fruit or seed
c : a membranous film or scum (as on boiling milk or drying paint)
3 : the life or physical well-being of a person saved his own skin
4 : a sheathing or casing forming the outside surface of a structure (such as a ship or airplane)
by the skin of one's teeth
: by a very narrow margin
under one's skin
: so deeply penetrative as to irritate, stimulate, provoke thought, or otherwise excite
under the skin
: beneath apparent or surface differences : at heart

skin

verb
skinned; skinning

Definition of skin (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

1a : to strip, scrape, or rub off an outer covering (such as the skin or rind) of
b : to strip or peel off
c : to cut, chip, or damage the surface of fell and skinned my knee
2a : to cover with or as if with skin
b : to heal over with skin
3a : to strip of money or property : fleece
b : to defeat badly
4 : to urge on and direct the course of (a draft animal)

intransitive verb

1 : to become covered with or as if with skin
2a : shinny
b : to pass or get by with scant room to spare

skin

adjective

Definition of skin (Entry 3 of 3)

: devoted to showing nudes skin magazines

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from skin

Noun

skinless \ ˈskin-​ləs How to pronounce skinless (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for skin

Synonyms: Noun

exterior, face, outside, shell, surface, veneer

Synonyms: Verb

bark, flay, hull, husk, peel, shell, shuck

Antonyms: Noun

inside, interior

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of skin in a Sentence

Noun

the rough skin of a shark Choose makeup that matches your skin tone. These snakes shed their skins once a year. Native Americans had many uses for animal skins. His boots are made of alligator skin. Potato skin is very nutritious.

Verb

The hunter skinned the rabbit and prepared it for cooking. I skinned my knee when I fell.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Aina isn’t shy about drawing visibility to the issues that affect young Black women, including sensitive subjects such as skin color. Jennifer Ford, Essence, "Jackie Aina Wants To Teach Young Black Women About Healthy Relationships," 9 July 2019 Another idea, one that computer vision algorithms also use, is balancing toward skin color. Adam Rogers, WIRED, "Why We See the Colors of Faces Differently Than Other Things," 8 July 2019 Fenolio came across an academic journal with a paper about a particular species of frog that had faced similar deaths — a blackening and drying of the skin followed by a quick demise. Josh Baugh, ExpressNews.com, "San Antonio scientist works to save endangered salamander in southeastern U.S.," 8 July 2019 His habit of disappearing into blue funks is the product of a thin skin. Boris Johnson, The Economist, "Boris Johnson, illusionist," 4 July 2019 The federal district court in Alabama dismissed the claim, saying that racial discrimination must show bias based on traits that a person cannot change, like skin color, and that a hairstyle doesn’t fit into that category because it can be changed. Alexia Fernández Campbell, Vox, "California is about to ban discrimination against black workers with natural hairstyles," 3 July 2019 Beauty tech, including virtual and augmented reality, may someday become the main way consumers try lipstick or match a foundation shade to their skin color. Sangeeta Singh-kurtz, Quartzy, "Amazon wants to make Whole Foods a beauty destination," 2 July 2019 The rinds, shorn of the outer skin, can be pickled or preserved. Bill St. John, The Denver Post, "Get Cooking: How to select (and utilize) melon," 2 July 2019 My choice for a neutral brow color that works on any skin tone is the Prismacolor brand ‘Ebony Graphite Drawing Pencil’ (art supply stores or amazon.com, 12 for $7.94). Ellen Warren, chicagotribune.com, "She took on a weight loss challenge; now she’s on the hunt for a new style," 26 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Toss large pieces of skinned, seeded, just-ripe melon in 2-3 tablespoons brown sugar, and roast for 20-25 minutes until the melon pieces begin to caramelize at their edges. Bill St. John, The Denver Post, "Get Cooking: How to select (and utilize) melon," 2 July 2019 Light skinned with reddish hair, Mr. Franklin was a raconteur who relished being the center of attention. Corey Kilgannon, New York Times, "The Gay Jewish Matador From Brooklyn," 25 June 2019 On the first day in the Elk Mountains outside of Aspen, my group skinned up and skied down powder fields surrounding a 13,000-foot ridge near Snowmass. Frederick Reimers, Outside Online, "On the Slopes in the North Face Futurelight Shell," 10 June 2019 Filling Vignoli’s central, shaded, cobblestone avenue were proud displays of each farm’s cherry crop, from pale pink to ruby red, sweet or less so, thin or thick skinned — mind-blowing to those used to only one supermarket variety. Elizabeth Marcus, BostonGlobe.com, "A family organized a whole trip around one meal in Modena, Italy. Was it worth it?," 21 May 2018 Step 3: Slice skinned watermelon flesh into 1-inch slices and then stack them and cut into cubes. NBC News, "How to cut a watermelon (without stabbing yourself)," 30 June 2017 There are many ways to skin a capitalist system without renaming it socialism. WSJ, "Schumer, Sanders, Socialism and Buybacks," 12 Feb. 2019 The veld looked like the giant desiccated hide of some ancient creature, skinned and scarred and skeletal. Stanley Stewart, Condé Nast Traveler, "Going Off-Grid in Namibia," 21 Dec. 2018 Lower-caste Hindus who carry out undesirable tasks such as skinning dead cattle have also faced mob violence. Fox News, "Indian mob lynches woman on rumors of child kidnapping," 23 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

My colleague Emily Schultz went a few months after me and had a funky, skin contact wine. Alex Beggs, Bon Appétit, "The Wine Store in Barcelona Where Wine Nerds Just Want to Share the Love," 24 June 2019 The main issue with temperature drops is skin dehydration or lack of water, says ZENii Skincare founder, GP, and cosmetic doctor Johanna Ward. refinery29.com, "Everything You Need To Get Through The Season With Flake-Free Skin," 21 Mar. 2018 The all-in-one formula gently removes makeup, cleanses face, and leaves skin feeling soft—with no need to even rinse. Kaitlyn Yarborough, Southern Living, "Our Favorite Back-to-School Drugstore Beauty Bargains," 11 July 2017 Using spatula and a pair of tongs, carefully turn each fillet so skin side is up. Claire Saffitz, Bon Appetit, "Crispy-Skin Salmon with Napa Cabbage," 30 Oct. 2017 Sun Protection F.A.B.'s Skin Tint offers SPF 30, and Glossier's Perfecting Skin Tint has none. Sable Yong, Allure, "First Aid Beauty's New Skin Tint Is VERY Similar to Glossier's But They Are NOT the Same," 18 July 2017 Skin imperfections are revealed to have names—papules, pustules, milia, cysts—and to respond to certain treatments. Jamie Lauren Keiles, The New Yorker, "Cleanse, Tone, Obsess: A Forum for Skin-Care Addicts," 6 June 2017 Skin injuries among people who have a toxic exposure to liquid chlorine include burning pain, redness and blisters. Susan Scutti, CNN, "Pool party poopers: CDC warns of parasitic infection, toxic gas," 19 May 2017 Appeared in the Feb. 21, 2017, print edition as 'Sometimes, a CEO’s Qualifications May Be Skin Deep.' Alina Dizik, WSJ, "Want to Be a CEO? It Helps to Look the Part," 17 Feb. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'skin.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of skin

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2a

Adjective

1933, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for skin

Noun

Middle English, from Old Norse skinn; akin to Old English scinn skin, Middle High German schint fruit peel

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about skin

Statistics for skin

Last Updated

16 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for skin

The first known use of skin was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for skin

skin

noun

English Language Learners Definition of skin

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the natural outer layer of tissue that covers the body of a person or animal
: the skin of an animal that has been removed from the body often with its hair or feathers still attached and that is used to make things (such as clothes)
: the outer covering of a fruit, vegetable, etc.

skin

verb

English Language Learners Definition of skin (Entry 2 of 2)

: to remove the skin of (an animal, fruit, or vegetable)
: to scrape or rub off some of the skin from (a body part)

skin

noun
\ ˈskin How to pronounce skin (audio) \

Kids Definition of skin

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the usually flexible outer layer of an animal body that in vertebrate animals is made up of two layers of cells forming an inner dermis and an outer epidermis
2 : the hide of an animal
3 : an outer or surface layer potato skins

Other Words from skin

skinless \ -​ləs \ adjective
skinned \ ˈskind \ adjective smooth-skinned

skin

verb
skinned; skinning

Kids Definition of skin (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to strip, scrape, or rub off the skin of This was the first summer her knees had not been skinned a dozen times …— Betsy Byars, The Summer of the Swans
2 : to remove an outer layer from (as by peeling)

skin

noun
\ ˈskin How to pronounce skin (audio) \

Medical Definition of skin

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the 2-layered covering of the body consisting of an outer ectodermal epidermis that is more or less cornified and penetrated by the openings of sweat and sebaceous glands and an inner mesodermal dermis that is composed largely of connective tissue and is richly supplied with blood vessels and nerves
skinned; skinning

Medical Definition of skin (Entry 2 of 2)

: to cut or scrape the skin of fell and skinned his knee

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on skin

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with skin

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for skin

Spanish Central: Translation of skin

Nglish: Translation of skin for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of skin for Arabic Speakers

Comments on skin

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

WORD OF THE DAY

to complain fretfully

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What's that Smell?! Quiz

  • wide eyed dog smelling rose
  • Someone who is hircine smells like a:
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!