—v.t. 1. to take up or remove (floating matter) from the surface of a liquid, as with a spoon or ladle: to skim the cream from milk. 2. to clear (liquid) thus: to skim milk. 3. to move or glide lightly over or along (a surface, as of water): The sailboat skimmed the lake. 4. to throw in a smooth, gliding path over or near a surface, or so as to bounce or ricochet along a surface: to skim a stone across the lake. 5. to read, study, consider, treat, etc., in a superficial or cursory manner.
6. to cover, as a liquid, with a thin film or layer: Ice skimmed the lake at night. 7. to take the best or most available parts or items from: Bargain hunters skimmed the flea markets early in the morning. 8. to take (the best or most available parts or items) from something: The real bargains had been skimmed by early shoppers. 9. Metall.to remove (slag, scum, or dross) from the surface of molten metal.
10. Slang. a. to conceal a portion of (winnings, earnings, etc.) in order to avoid paying income taxes, commissions, or the like on the actual total revenue (sometimes fol. by off): The casino skimmed two million a year. b. to take, remove, or appropriate for illegal use: to skim information from another's credit card.
—v.i. 1. to pass or glide lightly over or near a surface.
2. to read, study, consider, etc., something in a superficial or cursory way.
3. to become covered with a thin film or layer.
4. Slang.to conceal gambling or other profits so as to avoid paying taxes, etc.; practice skimming.
—n. 1. an act or instance of skimming.
2. something that is skimmed off.
3. a thin layer or film formed on the surface of something, esp. a liquid, as the coagulated protein material formed on boiled milk.
4. a thin layer, as of mortar.
5. Slang.the amount taken or concealed by skimming.
6. See skim milk. 7. Obs.scum.