WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2016
skim /skɪm/USA pronunciation   v., skimmed, skim•ming, n. 

v. 
  1. to remove (floating matter) from the surface of a liquid, as with a spoon: [+ object ( + off)]to skim the fat off.[+ object ( + off + object)]to skim the fat off the soup.
  2. to clear (liquid) in this way[+ object]to skim milk.
  3. to glide lightly over (a surface, as of water): [no object]The seaplane skimmed over the water and then landed.[+ object]The plane skimmed the water barely a few feet from the surface.
  4. to (cause to) be thrown in a smooth, gliding path over a surface, or so as to bounce along a surface: [+ object]She learned to skim stones across the lake.[no object]She threw the flat stone and watched it skim across the lake.
  5. to read, study, etc., quickly but not carefully: [+ object]She teaches her students how to skim the chapters they read for the main idea.[no object]teaching her students to skim and not to read every word.
  6. to take (money, the best items, etc.) from something: [~ ( + off) + object]The mobsters skimmed (off) 20% of the store's profits for "protection money.''[+ object + off + object]to skim 25% off their profits.

n. 
  1. skim milk.

WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2016
skim  (skim), 
v., skimmed, skim•ming, n. 

v.t. 
  1. 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.
  2. to clear (liquid) thus:to skim milk.
  3. to move or glide lightly over or along (a surface, as of water):The sailboat skimmed the lake.
  4. 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.
  5. to read, study, consider, treat, etc., in a superficial or cursory manner.
  6. to cover, as a liquid, with a thin film or layer:Ice skimmed the lake at night.
  7. to take the best or most available parts or items from:Bargain hunters skimmed the flea markets early in the morning.
  8. to take (the best or most available parts or items) from something:The real bargains had been skimmed by early shoppers.
  9. Metallurgy[Metall.]to remove (slag, scum, or dross) from the surface of molten metal.
  10. [Slang.]
      • 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 fol. 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.

v.i. 
  1. to pass or glide lightly over or near a surface.
  2. to read, study, consider, etc., something in a superficial or cursory way.
  3. to become covered with a thin film or layer.
  4. Sport, Slang Terms[Slang.]to conceal gambling or other profits so as to avoid paying taxes, etc.;
    practice skimming.

n. 
  1. an act or instance of skimming.
  2. something that is skimmed off.
  3. a thin layer or film formed on the surface of something, esp. a liquid, as the coagulated protein material formed on boiled milk.
  4. Buildinga thin layer, as of mortar.
  5. Slang Terms[Slang.]the amount taken or concealed by skimming.
  6. See skim milk. 
  7. [Obs.]scum.
Etymology:1375–1425;
late Middle English skymen, skemen, variant of scumen to skim;
see scum
5 . scan. 12 . glance.

Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

skim /skɪm/ vb (skims, skimming, skimmed)
  1. (transitive) to remove floating material from the surface of (a liquid), as with a spoon: to skim milk
  2. to glide smoothly or lightly over (a surface)
  3. (transitive) to throw (something) in a path over a surface, so as to bounce or ricochet: to skim stones over water
  4. when intr, usually followed by through: to read (a book) in a superficial or cursory manner
n
  1. the act or process of skimming
  2. material skimmed off a liquid, esp off milk
  3. any thin layer covering a surface
Etymology: 15th Century skimmen, probably from scumen to skim; see scum



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