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skim the surface (of something)

To do, engage with, or understand something to only a minimal or superficial degree. I know you feel like you know everything about philosophy now, but this introductory course only skims the surface. Jack never felt satisfied devoting his time and attention to one thing, so instead he's skimmed the surface of a number of hobbies and interests.
See also: skim, surface

skim (something) off

1. Literally, to scoop or scrape something off the surface of something, especially a liquid. Be sure to skim the fatty foam off your stew as it cooks. Please use the net to skim leaves and other debris off the surface of the pool each morning.
2. By extension, to take funds, especially illegally or deceitfully, from another source in small increments. The CEO has been accused of skimming money off from his employees' pensions funds to pay for his personal trips around the world. The sales assistant skimmed off money from the till for years before she was finally caught.
See also: off, skim

skim over something

1. Lit. to glide across something. The sailboat skimmed over the waves like a bird. The bird skimmed over the treetops, darting and dodging.
2. Fig. to go over or review something hastily. I just skimmed over the material and still got an A on the test! Please skim over chapter four for Thursday.
See also: over, skim

skim something off (of) something

 and skim something off 
1. Lit. to scoop something off the surface of something. (Of is usually retained before pronouns.) The cook skimmed the fat off the stew. The cook skimmed off the fat.
2. Fig. to remove a portion of something of value, such as money, from an account. (Of is usually retained before pronouns.) The auditor was skimming a few dollars a day off the bank's cash flow. Kelly skimmed off a few dollars each day.
See also: off, skim

skim through something

to go through something hastily; to read through something hastily. She skimmed through the catalogs, looking for a nice gift for Gary. I will skim through your manuscript and see whether it looks promising.
See also: skim, through

skim off

1. To remove some floating matter from a liquid: They use a net to skim the cranberries off the surface. They skim off the dross before pouring the metal into molds.
2. To appropriate some money illegally or dishonestly: The dictator skimmed off over $1 million from international donations and deposited it in personal bank accounts. The company was skimming money off its employees' paychecks and using it to cover losses.
See also: off, skim

skim over

To read or consider something superficially and quickly: I skimmed over the reading assignment because I didn't have time to read it carefully.
See also: over, skim

skim through

To go through some reading material quickly or superficially: I skimmed through the movie listings to see what was playing.
See also: skim, through
References in periodicals archive ?
Skim milk which have all required nutrients for maintaining the liveability of spermatozoa (Jones and Foote, 1972) when used as extender for diluting buffalo semen (4-7C) was found superior over Tris and EYC in linearity, lateral head displacement (ALH), average path velocity (VAP), and motility (Pramanik and Raina, 1998).
Based on the Food Sanitation Law, the officials ordered Snow Brand not to move the newly discovered bags as they are believed to contain skim milk produced April 10 with milk from the original batch.
But it could take more than health appeal to propel skim much farther beyond the 15 percent share of the fluid milk market it now holds.
As with Kroger's Skim Deluxe, Say YES fluid milk will be priced at parity with its conventional counterparts, Roberts says.
Jarlsberg Lite (the "J" is pronounced like a "Y") uses skim milk (and no gums) to get regular Swiss' eight grams of fat down to four.
PRODUCT CALORIES FAT (g) Hot cocoa mixes (one packet, prepared with 6 oz water) Carnation or Nestle 110 1 Swiss Miss 110 3 Swiss Miss Lite 70 <1 Weight Watchers 60 0 Unsweetened cocoa powder (*) Hershey's (1 Tbsp), dry 18 <1 Hershey's (1 Tbsp), with 6 oz skim milk and 1 Tbsp sugar 128 <1 Ghirardelli (1 Tbsp), dry 15 1 Ghirardelli (1 Tbsp), with 6 oz skim milk and 1 Tbsp sugar 125 1 Chocolate drinks Nestle Quik chocolate (2 tsp powder), dry 72 1 Nestle Quik, with 6 oz skim milk 137 1 Bosco (2 Tbsp syrup) 85 <1 Bosco, with 6 oz skim milk 150 <1 (*) The labels of different brands suggest using different amounts of cocoa.
Breakstone cuts the fat by adding skim milk and agar (a gel made from seaweed).
Robot skimmer tries to make it across a 90 foot pond at the Sno-Kona Pond Skim, one of 120 vying for a free trip to Hawaii and Kona Brewing Co.
For example, the long-standing subsidies paid out on making casein from skim milk and on the use of skim milk powder used to make animal feedstuffs have disappeared entirely.
After observing 17 men and 13 women for more than 2 months, researchers assigned them at random to groups drinking two glasses of reconstituted powdered skim milk daily from either normal or hyperimmunized cows.
Buying a food that's 70 percent skim milk seems like a victory, not a concession.
Producer body Dairy OK has questioned the government's decision to restrict school milk to skim and semi-skimmed.
Tetra Pak Ltd, tel:0870 442 6000, have supplied leading territorial cheese producers, Joseph Heler Ltd of Nantwich, with equipment to provide self-sufficiency in skim milk and cream production.
Company Makes Splash with First-Ever International Organization for Female Skim Boarders, Acclaimed Documentary Film Debut and Interactive Web Portal Development
The sale of intervention stocks of butter and skim milk power, threatened for several weeks by the European Commission, began last week.