skim the surface (of something)

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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
References in periodicals archive ?
Gervais only skims the surface of Victor and Pauline and barely touches on Sean.
VIEW OF THE NORTH: The misty water skims the surface of the pebbled beach, at Seaham, leaving a lovely wet shine on the stones in this picture by Lynne Berry > Send your views of the North East and Cumbria to Richard Kirkman at pics@ncjmedia.
The minority chosen to represent the select number of university teams, however, merely skims the surface of the large number of students who take part in university sport.
Yet Cooper consistently skims the surface of these crucial themes in her story.
Mayor Jim Torrey said the proposal just skims the surface of the problem.
PR may be the sun of the future and advertising the winds of change, but this book only skims the surface of the debate, and it's still too soon to rest assured that PR will indeed prevail.
Haskins' book is a little dry and academic with its copious footnotes, and only skims the surface of the issues which are part and parcel of hip hop and rap (the gang violence and shootings of stars such as 2Pac and Notorious BIG).
But, ultimately, Levy only skims the surface of virtually every topic he tackles, often insulting the reader's intelligence by offering the most simplistic and cliche-ridden words of advice.
This remarkable System skims the surface of the fluid collecting pollutants.
This account of ADA barely skims the surface of what the act covers.