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The entry for "scum" is displayed below.
WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2015
scum /skʌm/USA pronunciation
scum•my, adj., -mi•er, -mi•est.
- a layer of matter on the surface of a liquid:pond scum.
- low, worthless people:Those gangsters are truly the scum of the earth.
Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::
scum /skʌm/ n
vb (scums, scumming, scummed)
- a layer of impure matter that forms on the surface of a liquid, often as the result of boiling or fermentation
- the greenish film of algae and similar vegetation surface of a stagnant pond
Also called: dross, scruff the skin of oxides or impurities on the surface of a molten metal
- waste matter
- a worthless person or group of people
Etymology: 13th Century: of Germanic origin; related to Old High German scūm, Middle Dutch schūm, Old French escume; see skim
- (transitive) to remove scum from
- (intransitive) rare to form a layer of or become covered with scum