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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
For example, the chapter entitled, "An old idea--A contemporary approach," only skims the surface of cohousing's predecessors and does not offer a single footnote for the inquiring mind to pursue.
The Exchange for Innovation - Thursday, 4/26 @ 10:45-12:00 Christine Hunsicker, President of Right Media The open exchange is the best place to trade digital advertising, but that only skims the surface of its power.
The index makes it easy to look up names and places, but the information skims the surface of any given topic.