from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To remove floating matter from (a liquid).
  • intransitive verb To remove (floating matter) from a liquid.
  • intransitive verb To embezzle (money) by taking a small portion on each transaction.
  • intransitive verb To fail to declare part of (certain income, such as winnings) to avoid tax payment.
  • intransitive verb To copy information from (a credit card) as part of a skimming fraud.
  • intransitive verb To coat or cover with a thin layer.
  • intransitive verb To throw so as to bounce or slide.
  • intransitive verb To glide or pass quickly and lightly over or along (a surface). synonym: brush.
  • intransitive verb To read or glance through (a book, for example) quickly or superficially.
  • intransitive verb To glance over quickly; scan.
  • intransitive verb To touch lightly or superficially on.
  • intransitive verb To move or pass swiftly and lightly over or near a surface; glide.
  • intransitive verb To fail to declare certain income to avoid tax payment.
  • intransitive verb To give a quick and superficial reading, scrutiny, or consideration; glance.
  • intransitive verb To become coated with a thin layer.
  • noun The act of skimming.
  • noun Something that has been skimmed.
  • noun A thin layer or film.
  • noun The money stolen by skimming from an account or business operation.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The act of skimming; also, that which is skimmed off.
  • noun Thick matter that forms or collects on the surface of a liquor; scum.
  • To lift the scum from; clear the surface of by removing any floating matter, by means of a spoon, a flat ladle, or the like: as, to skim soup by removing the oil or fat; to skim milk by taking off the cream.
  • To lift from the surface of a liquid by a sliding movement, as with a puddle, a flat ladle, a spoon, or the like; dip up with or as with a skimmer, as cream from milk or fat from soup; hence, to clear away; remove.
  • To clear; rid; free from obstacles or enemies.
  • To mow.
  • To cover with a film or scum; coat over.
  • To pass lightly along or near the surface of; move smoothly and lightly over; glide, float, fly, or run over the surface of.
  • To pass over lightly in perusal or inspection; glance over hastily or superficially.
  • To cause to dart, skip, or ricochet along a surface; hurl along a surface in a smooth, straight course.
  • To pass lightly and smoothly over a surface; hence, to glide or dart along in a smooth, even course.
  • To pass in hasty inspection or consideration, as over the surface of something; observe or consider lightly or superficially.
  • To become covered with a scum or film; be coated over.
  • noun A cultivator blade for surface work, analogous to a sweep. See scalp, 7, and sweep, 12 .
  • In plastering, to put the finishing coat or skim-coat on.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • intransitive verb To pass lightly; to glide along in an even, smooth course; to glide along near the surface.
  • intransitive verb To hasten along with superficial attention.
  • intransitive verb To put on the finishing coat of plaster.
  • adjective Contraction of skimming and skimmed.
  • adjective the final or finishing coat of plaster.
  • adjective a colter for paring off the surface of land.
  • adjective skimmed milk; milk from which the cream has been taken.
  • transitive verb To clear (a liquid) from scum or substance floating or lying thereon, by means of a utensil that passes just beneath the surface
  • transitive verb To take off by skimming.
  • transitive verb To pass near the surface of; to brush the surface of; to glide swiftly along the surface of.
  • transitive verb Fig.: To read or examine superficially and rapidly, in order to cull the principal facts or thoughts.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb transitive to throw an object so it bounces on water (skimming stones)


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English skimmen, perhaps from Old French escumer, to remove scum, from escume, scum, of Germanic origin; see (s)keu- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English skimmen


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