1a thin layer of a substance on the surface of a liquid:a skim of ice
2an act of reading something quickly or superficially:a quick skim through the pamphlet 1 [with object] remove (a substance) from the surface of a liquid:as the scum rises, skim it off remove a substance from the surface of (a liquid):bring the stock to the boil, then skim it to remove any foam informal steal or embezzle (money), especially in small amounts over a period of time:she was skimming money from the household kitty
(often as noun skimming
) fraudulently copy (credit or debit card details) with a card swipe or other device.
2 [no object, with adverbial of direction] go or move quickly and lightly over or on a surface or through the air:he let his fingers skim across her shoulders [with object] pass over (a surface), nearly or lightly touching it in the process:we stood on the bridge, watching swallows skimming the water [with object] throw (a flat stone) low over an expanse of water so that it bounces on the surface several times: he bent to pick up a small pebble, skimming it across the glittering water
3 [with object] read (something) quickly so as to note only the important points:he skimmed the report [no object]:she skimmed through the newspaper
) deal with or treat (a subject) briefly or superficially: she skimmed over her meeting with Roger—it had suddenly become rather difficult to speak of him