- 1[uncountable, singular] a layer of bubbles or an unpleasant substance that forms on the surface of a liquid Skim off any scum. stinking water covered by a thick green scum
- 2(informal) [plural] an insulting word for people that you strongly disapprove of Don't waste your sympathy on scum like that. Drug dealers are the scum of the earth (= the worst people there are).
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NAmE//ˈskʌmi//adjective scummy water scummy people dropping litter