a person or thing that skims.
a shallow utensil, usually perforated, used in skimming liquids.
any of several gull-like birds of the family Rynchopidae, that skim the water with the elongated lower mandible immersed while in search of food.
a stiff, wide-brimmed hat with a shallow flat crown, usually made of straw.
a woman's A-line dress with side darts that shape it slightly to the body.

Origin of skimmer

1350–1400; skim + -er1; replacing Middle English skemour, skymour, variant of schumour < Middle French (e)scumoir ladle for skimming; see scum Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for skimmer

Historical Examples of skimmer

  • Our reputations would be as full of holes as a skimmer by this time.

    Cy Whittaker's Place

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • Said afore 'twas done he was so leaky with spear holes that he cast a shadder like a skimmer.

    Cape Cod Stories

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • Then place them in a skimmer (ladle with holes) and dip in boiling water or broth.

  • We must take them out at once with the skimmer, or they will burn and spoil the colour of our fat.

  • When they have boiled four or five minutes, take them up with a skimmer.

British Dictionary definitions for skimmer



a person or thing that skims
any of several mainly tropical coastal aquatic birds of the genus Rhynchops, having long narrow wings and a bill with an elongated lower mandible for skimming food from the surface of the water: family Rynchopidae, order Charadriiformes
a flat perforated spoon used for skimming fat from liquids
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for skimmer

"skimming utensil," late 14c., agent noun from skim (v.). From 1751 as "one who reads superficially." The North American shore bird (1785) is so called from its method of feeding. As "one who diverts money from earnings for some private purpose" by 1970.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper