American English

Definition of skin noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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    on body
  1. 1[uncountable, countable] the layer of tissue that covers the body to have dark/fair/olive, etc. skin The snake sheds its skin once a year. cosmetics for sensitive skins skin cancer Topic CollocationsPhysical AppearanceA person may be described as having:eyes (bright) blue/green/(dark/light) brown/hazel eyes deep-set/sunken/bulging/protruding eyes small/beady/sparkling/twinkling/shifty eyes piercing/penetrating/steely eyes bloodshot/watery/puffy eyes bushy/thick/dark/raised/arched eyebrows long/dark/thick/curly/false eyelashes/lashesface a flat/bulbous/pointed/sharp/snub nose a straight/a pointy/a Roman/an aquiline nose full/thick/thin/pouty lips dry/chapped/cracked lips flushed/rosy/red/ruddy/pale cheeks soft/chubby/sunken cheeks white/perfect/crooked/protruding teeth a large/high/broad/wide forehead a strong/weak/pointed/double chin a long/full/bushy/wispy beard a full/thin goatee a long/thin/bushy/droopy/handlebar/pencil mustachehair and skin pale/fair/olive/dark/tanned skin dry/oily/smooth/rough/leathery/wrinkled skin a dark/pale/light/sallow/ruddy/olive/swarthy/clear complexion deep/fine/small/facial wrinkles blonde/blond/fair/(light/dark) brown/(jet-)black/auburn/red/ginger/gray hair straight/curly/wavy/frizzy/spiky hair thick/thin/fine/bushy/thinning hair dyed/bleached/soft/silky/dry/greasy/shiny hair long/short/shoulder-length/cropped hair a bald/balding/shaved head a receding hairline a bald patch/spot a side/center partbody a long/short/thick/slender/ (disapproving) scrawny neck broad/narrow/sloping/rounded/hunched shoulders a bare/broad/muscular/small/large chest a flat/round/swollen/bulging stomach a small/tiny/narrow/slim/slender/28-inch waist big/wide/narrow/slim hips a straight/bent/arched/broad/hairy back thin/slender/muscular arms big/large/small/manicured/calloused/gloved hands long/short/fat/slender/delicate/bony fingers long/muscular/hairy/shapely/ (informal) (often disapproving) skinny/spindly legs muscular/chubby/ (informal) (disapproving) flabby thighs/calves big/little/small/dainty/wide/narrow/bare feet a good/slim/slender/hourglass figure be of slim/medium/average/large/athletic/stocky build see also foreskin
  2. -skinned
  3. 2(in adjectives) having the type of skin mentioned dark-skinned fair-skinned see also thick-skinned, thin-skinned
  4. of dead animal
  5. 3[countable, uncountable] (often in compounds) the skin of a dead animal with or without its fur, used for making leather, etc. The skins are removed and laid out to dry. a tiger skin rug
  6. of fruit/vegetables
  7. 4[countable, uncountable] the outer layer of some fruit and vegetables Remove the skins by soaking the tomatoes in hot water. compare peel, rind, zest
  8. of sausage
  9. 5[countable, uncountable] the thin outer layer of a sausage Prick the skins before grilling.
  10. on liquids
  11. 6[countable, uncountable] the thin layer that forms on the surface of some liquids A skin had formed on the top of the milk.
  12. outside layer
  13. 7[countable] a layer that covers the outside of something the outer skin of the earth the metal skin of the aircraft
  14. 8[countable] a special cover for any small electronic device that you can carry with you so that you can listen to music You can create your own custom skin for your iPod. The skin has a clear protective layer.
  15. in computer program
  16. 9[countable] (computing) the interface of a computer program (= the way a computer program presents information on a screen), that the user can change to suit their particular preferences
  17. Idioms
    by the skin of your teeth (informal)
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    if you do something by the skin of your teeth, you only just manage to do it He escaped defeat by the skin of his teeth.
    get under somebody's skin (informal)
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    to annoy someone Don't let him get under your skin.
    have somebody under your skin (informal)
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    to be extremely attracted to someone
    it's no skin off my, your, his, etc. nose/back (informal)
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    used to say that someone is not upset or annoyed about something because it does not affect them in a bad way
    jump out of your skin (informal)
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    to move violently because of a sudden shock
    make your skin crawl
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    to make you feel afraid or full of disgust Just the sight of him makes my skin crawl.
    save your (own) skin/hide/neck
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    to try to avoid death, punishment, etc., especially by leaving others in an extremely difficult situation To save his own skin, he lied and blamed the accident on his friend.
    (nothing but/all/only) skin and bone (informal)
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    extremely thin in a way that is not attractive or healthy
    a thick skin
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    the ability to accept criticism, insults, etc. without becoming upset opposite a thin skin, thick-skinned
    a thin skin
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    the lack of ability to accept criticism, insults, etc. without becoming upset You shouldn't be in politics if you have such a thin skin. opposite a thick skin, thin-skinned
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: skin