- 1[transitive] to remove fat, cream, etc. from the surface of a liquid skim something off/from something Skim the scum off the jam and let it cool. skim something Skim the jam and let it cool.
- 2 [intransitive, transitive, no passive] to move quickly and lightly over a surface, not touching it or only touching it occasionally skim along/over, etc. something We watched the birds skimming over the lake. (figurative) His eyes skimmed over her face. skim something The speedboat took off, skimming the waves. (figurative) This report has barely skimmed the surface of the subject. see also skip
- 3[intransitive, transitive] to read something quickly in order to find a particular point or the main points skim through/over something He skimmed through the article trying to find his name. skim something I always skim the financial section of the newspaper.
- 4[transitive] skim something (from something) (informal) to steal small amounts of money frequently over a period of time She'd been skimming money from the store's accounts for years.
- 5[intransitive, transitive] skim (something) to illegally copy electronic information from a credit card in order to use it without the owner's permission It is estimated that skimming now accounts for almost 50% of credit card fraud. Phrasal Verbsskim something/somebodyoff
NAmE//skɪm//Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they skim
he / she / it skims
past simple skimmed
-ing form skimming