Definition of scum noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//skʌm//
    ; NAmE NAmE//skʌm//
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  1. 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. 2[uncountable, plural] (informal) 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).
  3. Word OriginMiddle English: from Middle Low German, Middle Dutch schūm, of Germanic origin.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: scum