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 classic literature ?
Thus skimming the surface, they ploughed it in their course: the water was quite smooth, and it formed a most curious spectacle to behold a flock, each bird leaving its narrow wake on the mirror-like surface.
In Mumbai, a real estate agent's opening and closing has always been about what the owner wants -- demands, rather -- and barely skimming the surface of what a tenant wants, barring the monthly rent and astronomical security deposits.
"I know you so well, I don't know you at all," Vermette writes in "A Fine Dust." This line speaks to what we can understand in our relationships, world and language, as it simultaneously names how we are just skimming the surface of what there is to grasp.
candidate Travis Schramek, lead author of the study said, "We're now adding the dimension of depth into the problem where before we were only skimming the surface of what temperature stress meant for corals.
However, I am optimistic that the environmental marketplace will continue to grow since we are only skimming the surface in reference to the amount of companies that actually buy the coverage.
Does your technology go in-depth, or is it barely skimming the surface of this information, leaving you with minimal data points with which to win new business?
Bring to the boil and simmer gently, uncovered, for 30-40 mins skimming the surface occasionally to remove any froth.
We feel we have only been skimming the surface of the opportunities out there.
Birds near shore, like skimmers, fly right on the deck on calm days, skimming the surface for small baitfish.
Stand-up paddle boarding is a fun, relaxing way to stay fit, but that is just skimming the surface. This well branded company, with trademark and a distribution network in place, has unlimited potential.
She mentions pain and joy, doubt and relief, but the superficial nature of each anecdote gives a feeling of just skimming the surface. However, she presents the complicated and conflicting feelings that only a parent could understand, even noting the absurdity of having those feelings at the same time.
Bring the mixture just to a boil over high heat, skimming the surface with a slotted spoon.
That's probably the biggest, best kept secret of Disney Infinity 2.0, and it's still just skimming the surface of what the game has on offer.
Miller's book is well written and visually appealing, skimming the surface on a lot of the information but effectively covering the history and future of Mars exploration.
Just how you follow this issue's money trail--focusing with a budget-specialist's attentiveness on bottom-line details, or skimming the surface of trends and prognostications--depends as much upon your nerd quotient as it does upon how deeply you're immersed in the economics of the field.