Meaning of “skim” in the English Dictionary

"skim" in British English

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uk /skɪm/ us /skɪm/ -mm-

skim verb (MOVE ABOVE)

[ I or T ] to move quickly just above a surface without touching it:

The birds skimmed (across/along/over) the tops of the waves.

[ T ] UK US skip to throw a flat stone horizontally over water so that it touches and rises off the surface several times:

We watched a child skimming stones across the lake.

Phrasal verb(s)

(Definition of “skim” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"skim" in American English

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us /skɪm/ -mm-

skim verb (MOVE ABOVE)

[ I/T ] to move quickly just above or on a surface, or to cause something to move above or on a surface:

[ I ] Skaters skim over the ice.
[ T ] I skimmed a pebble across the lake.

skim verb (READ QUICKLY)

[ I/T ] to read or look at something quickly to understand the main points, without studying it in detail:

[ T ] You can’t just skim the tax forms.
[ I ] Skim through this report.

skim verb (REMOVE)

[ T ] to remove something solid from the surface of a liquid:

Stew the chicken, then skim the fat.

(Definition of “skim” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"skim" in Business English

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skimverb [ T ]

uk /skɪm/ us -mm- also skim off

FINANCE, TAX to steal money from an account, budget, etc. over a period of time in amounts that cannot be easily noticed:

skim sth from sth The defendants were accused of skimming money from a multimillion-dollar construction project.
During the lifetime of their company the defendants skimmed off more than €5.5 million.

IT to steal someone's credit card details using electronic equipment, in order to use their account illegally:

More than $98m of total bank fraud was taken by criminals using bank cards that had been skimmed.
skim the market

MARKETING to charge a high price for a new product in order to make as much profit as possible before other similar products become available and prices fall:

Marketers might choose to skim the market to position their brand as a luxury good.

(Definition of “skim” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

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