- to take up or remove (floating matter) from the surface of a liquid, as with a spoon or ladle: to skim the cream from milk.
- to clear (liquid) thus: to skim milk.
- to move or glide lightly over or along (a surface, as of water): The sailboat skimmed the lake.
- to throw in a smooth, gliding path over or near a surface, or so as to bounce or ricochet along a surface: to skim a stone across the lake.
- to read, study, consider, treat, etc., in a superficial or cursory manner.
- to cover, as a liquid, with a thin film or layer: Ice skimmed the lake at night.
- to take the best or most available parts or items from: Bargain hunters skimmed the flea markets early in the morning.
- to take (the best or most available parts or items) from something: The real bargains had been skimmed by early shoppers.
- Metallurgy. to remove (slag, scum, or dross) from the surface of molten metal.
- to conceal a portion of (winnings, earnings, etc.) in order to avoid paying income taxes, commissions, or the like on the actual total revenue (sometimes followed by off): The casino skimmed two million a year.
- to take, remove, or appropriate for illegal use: to skim information from another's credit card.
- to pass or glide lightly over or near a surface.
- to read, study, consider, etc., something in a superficial or cursory way.
- to become covered with a thin film or layer.
- Slang. to conceal gambling or other profits so as to avoid paying taxes, etc.; practice skimming.
Origin of skim
SynonymsSee more synonyms for skim on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for skim
Fat-free or skim milkEveryone knows milk is an excellent source of calcium that will keep your bones in tip-top shape.10 Ways to Stay Hydrated (That Aren’t Water)
July 25, 2014
And good for Bruno, bless his heart, who is truly the skim milk of pop music.Your Super Bowl Etiquette Guide From Food to Clothes to What Not to Say
Kelly Williams Brown
February 1, 2014
And the iTunes story makes music—arguably the most mysterious, magical art form—as accessible and ubiquitous as skim milk.From Bieber to the Beatles, How the iTunes Store Brooklynized Music
May 5, 2013
Skim off most of the fat with a spoon: just dip in, get a spoonful of fat, and remove.Your Friday Gadget Chef Recipe: Two Day Soup
November 9, 2012
Drinks at the dinner table are restricted to “water and skim milk.”12 Juicy Bits From Michelle Obama’s Garden Book
May 31, 2012
Skim the lard or dripping always before you put in the fish.
Skim it well, and stir it frequently with a wooden or silver spoon.
Take the gravy that you poured from the meat, and skim off all the fat.
Then skim and strain it, carefully removing every particle of fat.
Then skim off the fat, and strain the gravy into a clean sauce-pan.
- (tr) to remove floating material from the surface of (a liquid), as with a spoonto skim milk
- to glide smoothly or lightly over (a surface)
- (tr) to throw (something) in a path over a surface, so as to bounce or ricochetto skim stones over water
- (when intr, usually foll by through) to read (a book) in a superficial or cursory manner
- to cover (a liquid) with a thin layer or (of liquid) to become coated in this way, as with ice, scum, etc
- the act or process of skimming
- material skimmed off a liquid, esp off milk
- the liquid left after skimming
- any thin layer covering a surface
Word Origin and History for skim
early 15c. (skimmer, the utensil, is attested from late 14c.), "to clear (a liquid) from matter floating on the surface, lift the scum from," from Old French escumer "remove scum," from escume (Modern French écume) "scum," from a Germanic source (cf. Old High German scum "scum," German Schaum; see scum). Meaning "to throw (a stone) so as to skip across the surface of (water) is from 1610s. Meaning "to move lightly and rapidly over the surface of" is from 1650s, from the motion involved in skimming liquid; that of "to glance over carelessly" (in reference to printed matter) recorded by 1799. Related: Skimmed; skimming.