Date: 1400-1500
Origin: Perhaps from scum 'to remove scum' (14-19 centuries), from scum (noun)


skim past tense and past participle skimmed, present participle skimming
1 [transitive] to remove something from the surface of a liquid, especially floating fat, solids, or oil
skim something off/from something
After simmering the meat, skim the fat from the surface.
2 [intransitive and transitive] to read something quickly to find the main facts or ideas in it [= scan]:
Julie skimmed the sports page.
skim through/over
Just skim through the second section to save time.
3 [transitive] to move along quickly over a surface, never touching it or not touching it often:
seagulls skimming the waves
skim over/along/across
The ball skimmed across the grass and stopped against the wall.

skim stones/pebbles etc

British English to throw smooth, flat stones into a lake, river etc in a way that makes them jump across the surface [= skip American English]

skim somebody/something ↔ off

phrasal verb
1 to take the best people or the best part of something for yourself:
Professional sport skims off all the best players.
2 to take money illegally or dishonestly:
For years his business partner had been skimming off the profits.
to read parts of something: dip into, flick/leaf through, browse through

to read something quickly: skim, scan

to read something carefully: pore over, scrutinize

to read something long and boring: plough through British English/plow through American English, wade through

clear enough to read: legible

not clear enough to read: illegible

someone who is unable to read: illiterate

someone who likes reading very much: bookworm

See also

Dictionary results for "skim"
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