skim / skim/ • v. (skimmed, skim·ming) 1. [tr.] 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 to the boil, then skim it to remove any foam. ∎ inf. steal or embezzle (money), esp. in small amounts over a period of time: she was skimming money from the household kitty. ∎ [often as n.] (skimming) fraudulently copy (credit or debit card details) with a card swipe or other device.2. go or move quickly and lightly over or on a surface or through the air: he let his fingers skim across her shoulders. ∎ [tr.] pass over (a surface), nearly or lightly touching it in the process: we stood on the bridge, watching swallows skimming the water. ∎ [tr.] throw (a flat stone) low over an expanse of water so that it bounces on the surface several times. ∎ [tr.] read (something) quickly or cursorily so as to note only the important points: he sat down and skimmed the report | [intr.] she skimmed through the newspaper. ∎ (skim over) deal with or treat (a subject) briefly or superficially.• n. 1. a thin layer of a substance on the surface of a liquid: a skim of ice.2. an act of reading something quickly or superficially: a quick skim through the pamphlet.