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View synonyms for scum

scum

[ skuhm ]

noun

  1. a film or layer of foul or extraneous matter that forms on the surface of a liquid.
  2. refuse or offscourings.
  3. a low, worthless, or evil person.
  4. such persons collectively; riffraff; dregs.


verb (used with object)

, scummed, scum·ming.
  1. to remove the scum from.
  2. to remove as scum.

verb (used without object)

, scummed, scum·ming.
  1. to form scum; become covered with scum.

scum

/ skʌm /

noun

  1. a layer of impure matter that forms on the surface of a liquid, often as the result of boiling or fermentation
  2. the greenish film of algae and similar vegetation surface of a stagnant pond
  3. Also calleddrossscruff the skin of oxides or impurities on the surface of a molten metal
  4. waste matter
  5. a worthless person or group of people


verb

  1. tr to remove scum from
  2. rare.
    intr to form a layer of or become covered with scum

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Derived Forms

  • ˈscumˌlike, adjective
  • ˈscummer, noun

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Other Words From

  • scumless adjective
  • scumlike adjective
  • un·scummed adjective

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Word History and Origins

Origin of scum1

1200–50; Middle English scume < Middle Dutch schūme ( Dutch schuim ) foam; cognate with German Schaum foam

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Word History and Origins

Origin of scum1

C13: of Germanic origin; related to Old High German scūm, Middle Dutch schūm, Old French escume; see skim

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Example Sentences

Biofilms form dental plaque and pond scum, but they can also create beautiful, tie-dye formations and protect shipwrecks from deteriorating.

Some common types are pond scum and even dental plaque, and biofilm can even preserve shipwrecks by coating the metal exterior and preventing corrosion.

These freshwater blooms may look like scum, foam, mats or even paint floating atop the water.

On Earth, such sediments have preserved evidence of ancient life in the form of fossilized mats of microscopic pond scum called stromatolites.

Intensely satisfying to use, these bad boys easily bust through even the grimiest, most built-up of messes—the soap scum on tubs, fat caked grill tops, and, of course, the toughest grout stains.

Scum it off with your spoon, and lay it in anotherPage 117 dish.

The home missions class furnished the inspiration for it, and called it "Scum o' the Earth," an impromptu immigration pageant.

Let all this boil together a full hour, and keep it constantly skimmed, as long as any Scum will rise upon it.

Scum like you has ter come ter the mark sooner or later, and come yer have.

On Scum exist the lowest conditions of life found in any stellar world.

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