from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A filmy layer of extraneous or impure matter that forms on or rises to the surface of a liquid or body of water.
- n. The refuse or dross of molten metals.
- n. Refuse or worthless matter.
- n. Slang One, such as a person or an element of society, that is regarded as despicable or worthless.
- transitive v. To remove the scum from.
- intransitive v. To become covered with scum.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A layer of impurities that accumulates at the surface of a liquid (especially molten metal or water).
- n. A greenish water vegetation (such as algae), usually found floating on the surface of ponds
- n. The topmost liquid layer of a cesspool or septic tank.
- n. (derogatory, slang) A reprehensible person or persons.
- v. To remove the layer of scum from (a liquid etc.).
- v. To remove (something) as scum.
- v. To scour (the land, sea etc.).
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. The extraneous matter or impurities which rise to the surface of liquids in boiling or fermentation, or which form on the surface by other means; also, the scoria of metals in a molten state; dross.
- n. refuse; recrement; anything vile or worthless.
- transitive v. To take the scum from; to clear off the impure matter from the surface of; to skim.
- transitive v. To sweep or range over the surface of.
- intransitive v. To form a scum; to become covered with scum. Also used figuratively.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. Foam; froth: as, the scum of the sea.
- n. The impurities or extraneous substances which rise to the surface of liquids, as in boiling or fermentation, or which form by other means; also, the scoria of molten metals; hence, by extension, any film or surface of foul floating matter: as, the scum of a stagnant pond.
- n. Refuse; dross; offscourings.
- To remove the scum from; clear off the froth, dross, or impurities that have risen to or formed on the surface of; skim.
- To sweep over; move swiftly upon; skim.
- To arise or be formed on the surface as foam or scum; be thrown up as scum.
- To be or become covered with scum: generally with over.
- To skim lightly: with over.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. worthless people
- v. remove the scum from
- n. a film of impurities or vegetation that can form on the surface of a liquid
Middle English, from Middle Dutch schūm; see (s)keu- in Indo-European roots.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English scum, scom, from Old English *scūm ("foam") or Middle Dutch schūme ("foam"), both from Proto-Germanic *skūmaz (“froth, foam”), from Proto-Indo-European *skeu- (“to cover, conceal”). Cognate with Dutch schuim ("foam"), German Schaum ("foam"), Danish and Swedish skum ("foam"). Compare also French écume ("scum"), Italian schiuma ("foam") from the same Germanic source. Related to skim. (Wiktionary)