Meaning of SKIM in English


I. ˈskim verb

( skimmed ; skimmed ; skimming ; skims )

Etymology: Middle English skimmen, probably alteration of scumen — more at scum

transitive verb



(1) : to clear (a liquid) of scum or floating substance

skim boiling syrup

(2) : to remove scum or floating matter from the contents of

b. : to remove (as film or scum) from the surface of a liquid

foam rises as the liquid boils, and is skimmed off — American Guide Series: Tennessee


(1) : to remove cream from (milk) by skimming

(2) : to remove (cream) from milk by skimming

d. : to remove foreign particles from the surface of molten glass in (a pot or tank)

skimming a glass pot before pouring — C.J.Phillips

e. : top 1f


(1) : to remove from the surface of a solid

the dust could be skimmed from the cooking food — Russell Lord

(2) : to remove a substance from the surface of (a solid body)

then came a wind, skimming straw from the stacks — Adrian Bell

specifically : to remove roughnesses or irregularities from the surface of (a solid body)

valve seats should be very lightly skimmed with a cutter — B.C.MacDonald


(1) : to remove the best or easiest obtainable contents from

forests whose treasury of bird and beast and insect secrets had been only skimmed — William Beebe

(2) : to take away (the most valuable or easiest obtainable contents)

ore beds were skimmed and abandoned for richer deposits — D.A.Shepard

nimble searchers after profits … skim the cream off markets — Hartley Withers

2. : to read, study, deal with, or examine superficially and rapidly

skims American poetry of the period — College English

specifically : to glance through (as a book) for the chief ideas or the plot

the habit of skimming volumes in bookshops — Time Literary Supplement

3. : to throw in a gliding path

skim a hat across the room

specifically : to throw so as to ricochet along the surface of water

taking a slate from the low wall and skimming it across the pond — Robert Graves


a. : to cover with or as if with a film or scum

the standing water … was skimmed with ice — William Faulkner

b. : to put a finishing coat of plaster on

5. : to pass swiftly or lightly over : touch lightly, barely miss, or glide along in passing

kingfishers … darted across the water, their wings just skimming the surface — David Walden

skim the shores — Claudia Cassidy

intransitive verb


a. : to pass lightly or hastily : glide or skip along, above, or near a surface

the plane skims 200 feet above ground — A.C.Fisher

skimming along the high road — D.S.Boyer

b. : to give a cursory glance or consideration

skimmed through the overseer's report book — Eve Langley

a flow of racy comment, skimming from one topic to another — Rose Macaulay

— distinguished from dip

2. : to become coated with a thin layer of film or scum

during the cold night the puddles skimmed over

3. : to put on a finishing coat of plaster

II. noun

( -s )

1. : a thin layer, coating, or film

bread with a skim of jam on it — Anthony West

a little skim of ice in the ruts — William Faulkner

2. : the act of skimming

the skim of the swallows over the grass — Virginia Woolf

3. : something skimmed ; specifically : skim milk

4. : a streak of dense seeds in glass

III. adjective

1. : that skims or is used for skimming

skim net


a. : skimmed

b. : made of skim milk

skim cheese

IV. transitive verb

1. : to remove or conceal (as a portion of casino profits) to avoid payment of taxes

2. : embezzle 3

skimming money from tax revenues

intransitive verb

: to acquire money by embezzling

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.