- 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; to make something do this 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. skim something across, over, etc. something (British English) Small boys were skimming stones across the water. We skimmed across the water in a small sailing boat. 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. I skimmed the list until I found my name.
- 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. See related entries: Committing crime Word Origin Middle English (in the sense ‘remove scum from (a liquid)’): back-formation from skimmer, or from Old French escumer, from escume
BrE BrE//skɪm//; NAmE NAmE//skɪm//Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they skim
BrE BrE//skɪm//; NAmE NAmE//skɪm//he / she / it skims
BrE BrE//skɪmz//; NAmE NAmE//skɪmz//past simple skimmed
BrE BrE//skɪmd//; NAmE NAmE//skɪmd//past participle skimmed
BrE BrE//skɪmd//; NAmE NAmE//skɪmd//-ing form skimming
BrE BrE//ˈskɪmɪŋ//; NAmE NAmE//ˈskɪmɪŋ//Committing crime