Try Our Apps


Supposedly vs. Supposably


[skim] /skɪm/
verb (used with object), skimmed, skimming.
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.
to clear (liquid) thus:
to skim milk.
to move or glide lightly over or along (a surface, as of water):
The sailboat skimmed the lake.
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.
to read, study, consider, treat, etc., in a superficial or cursory manner.
to cover, as a liquid, with a thin film or layer:
Ice skimmed the lake at night.
to take the best or most available parts or items from:
Bargain hunters skimmed the flea markets early in the morning.
to take (the best or most available parts or items) from something:
The real bargains had been skimmed by early shoppers.
Metallurgy. to remove (slag, scum, or dross) from the surface of molten metal.
  1. 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 followed by off):
    The casino skimmed two million a year.
  2. to take, remove, or appropriate for illegal use:
    to skim information from another's credit card.
verb (used without object), skimmed, skimming.
to pass or glide lightly over or near a surface.
to read, study, consider, etc., something in a superficial or cursory way.
to become covered with a thin film or layer.
Slang. to conceal gambling or other profits so as to avoid paying taxes, etc.; practice skimming.
an act or instance of skimming.
something that is skimmed off.
a thin layer or film formed on the surface of something, especially a liquid, as the coagulated protein material formed on boiled milk.
a thin layer, as of mortar.
Slang. the amount taken or concealed by skimming.
Obsolete, scum.
Origin of skim
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English skymen, skemen, variant of scumen to skim; see scum
Related forms
unskimmed, adjective
5. scan. 12. glance. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for skimmed
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The milk, which has been allowed to curdle spontaneously, is skimmed and allowed to drain.

    The Complete Book of Cheese Robert Carlton Brown
  • This should be skimmed off as it forms, for it is a detriment to the jelly.

    Woman's Institute Library of Cookery, Vol. 5 Woman's Institute of Domestic Arts and Sciences
  • Use the quantity of milk that will just fill the pan; skimmed milk with 1–2 tablespns.

    The Laurel Health Cookery Evora Bucknum Perkins
  • "He could have lived on the skimmed milk we feed to the pigs," thought Martin.

    Dust Mr. and Mrs. Haldeman-Julius
  • They skimmed over a dozen yards of ice and 54then slackened speed.

    The Camp in the Snow William Murray Graydon
British Dictionary definitions for skimmed


verb skims, skimming, skimmed
(transitive) to remove floating material from the surface of (a liquid), as with a spoon: to skim milk
to glide smoothly or lightly over (a surface)
(transitive) to throw (something) in a path over a surface, so as to bounce or ricochet: to skim stones over water
when intr, usually foll by through. to read (a book) in a superficial or cursory manner
to cover (a liquid) with a thin layer or (of liquid) to become coated in this way, as with ice, scum, etc
the act or process of skimming
material skimmed off a liquid, esp off milk
the liquid left after skimming
any thin layer covering a surface
See also skim off
Word Origin
C15 skimmen, probably from scumen to skim; see scum
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for skimmed



early 15c. (skimmer, the utensil, is attested from late 14c.), "to clear (a liquid) from matter floating on the surface, lift the scum from," from Old French escumer "remove scum," from escume (Modern French écume) "scum," from a Germanic source (cf. Old High German scum "scum," German Schaum; see scum). Meaning "to throw (a stone) so as to skip across the surface of (water) is from 1610s. Meaning "to move lightly and rapidly over the surface of" is from 1650s, from the motion involved in skimming liquid; that of "to glance over carelessly" (in reference to printed matter) recorded by 1799. Related: Skimmed; skimming.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for skimmed
The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for skim

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for skimmed

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for skimmed