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 ?
Despite a perfect setup, the novel superficially skims the surface of class and race, relying on many stereotypical characters and situations that go unexplored and unchallenged.
Whilst I liked the article it is based on other people's opinions and only skims the surface.
The breadth of the study means that Fagan skims the surface of each topic rather than delving deep into any of them, but in each chapter he includes a brief sidebar presenting a particularly telling anecdote.
Gervais only skims the surface of Victor and Pauline and barely touches on Sean.
Summary: The book dwells on the problems confronting India but only skims the surface.
Bits begins with a brief but complimentary preface by Carol Burnett that only skims the surface of their long collaboration.
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.
And yet the "tea-aholic" spoilt it all by pouring his guest what looked like water (it was actually Ceylon tea), and explaining: "It's very weak - the bag just skims the surface of the water.
Just a little old piece for little old Strategies--a piece that, admittedly, barely skims the surface Think more Carribean pleasure cruise than Voyage of Magellan.
The text, which is complemented, enhanced, and extended by the accompanying drawings, skims the surface as we do when we travel quickly, stopping only briefly.
Yet Cooper consistently skims the surface of these crucial themes in her story.
Since the life and work of Peruvian novelist-essayist journalist-politician Mario Vargas Llosa can hardly be crammed into a 75-minute documentary, "Mario Vargas Llosa: The Biography" skims the surface of the writer's varied and vast body of work.
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.
Indeed, the report merely skims the surface of a very murky episode.
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).