from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The membranous tissue forming the external covering or integument of an animal and consisting in vertebrates of the epidermis and dermis.
  • n. An animal pelt, especially the comparatively pliable pelt of a small or young animal: a tent made of goat skins.
  • n. A usually thin, closely adhering outer layer: the skin of a peach; a sausage skin; the skin of an aircraft.
  • n. A container for liquids that is made of animal skin.
  • n. Music A drumhead.
  • n. Informal One's life or physical survival: They lied to save their skins.
  • transitive v. To remove skin from: skinned and gutted the rabbit.
  • transitive v. To bruise, cut, or injure the skin or surface of: She skinned her knee.
  • transitive v. To remove (an outer covering); peel off: skin off the thin bark.
  • transitive v. To cover with or as if with skin: skin the framework of a canoe.
  • transitive v. Slang To fleece; swindle.
  • intransitive v. To become covered with or as if with skin: In January the pond skins over with ice.
  • intransitive v. To pass with little room to spare: We barely skinned by.
  • adj. Slang Of, relating to, or depicting pornography: skin magazines.
  • idiom by the skin of (one's) teeth By the smallest margin.
  • idiom get under (someone's) skin To irritate or stimulate; provoke.
  • idiom get under (someone's) skin To preoccupy someone; become an obsession.
  • idiom under the skin Beneath the surface; fundamentally: enemies who are really brothers under the skin.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The outer protective layer of the body of any animal, including of a human.
  • n. The outer protective layer of the fruit of a plant.
  • n. The skin and fur of an individual animal used by humans for clothing, upholstery, etc.
  • n. A congealed layer on the surface of a liquid.
  • n. A set of resources that modifies the appearance and/or layout of the graphical user interface of a computer program.
  • n. Rolling paper for cigarettes.
  • n. Short for skinhead.
  • n. An alternate appearance (texture map or geometry) for a 3D character model in a video game.
  • n. Bare flesh, particularly bare breasts.
  • v. To injure the skin of.
  • v. To remove the skin and/or fur of an animal or a human.
  • v. To high five.
  • v. To apply a skin to (a computer program).
  • v. To use tricks to go past a defender.
  • v. To become covered with skin.
  • v. To produce, in recitation, examination, etc., the work of another for one's own, or to use cribs, memoranda, etc., which are prohibited.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The external membranous integument of an animal.
  • n. The hide of an animal, separated from the body, whether green, dry, or tanned; especially, that of a small animal, as a calf, sheep, or goat.
  • n. A vessel made of skin, used for holding liquids. See Bottle, 1.
  • n. The bark or husk of a plant or fruit; the exterior coat of fruits and plants.
  • n.
  • n. That part of a sail, when furled, which remains on the outside and covers the whole.
  • n. The covering, as of planking or iron plates, outside the framing, forming the sides and bottom of a vessel; the shell; also, a lining inside the framing.
  • intransitive v. To become covered with skin.
  • intransitive v. To produce, in recitation, examination, etc., the work of another for one's own, or to use in such exercise cribs, memeoranda, etc., which are prohibited.
  • transitive v. To strip off the skin or hide of; to flay; to peel.
  • transitive v. To cover with skin, or as with skin; hence, to cover superficially.
  • transitive v. To strip of money or property; to cheat.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To provide with skin; cover as with a skin.
  • To strip the skin from; flay; peel.
  • To strip or peel off; remove by turning back and drawing off inside out.
  • To strip of valuable properties or possessions; fleece; plunder; rob; cheat; swindle.
  • To copy or pretend to learn by employment of irregular or forbidden expedients, as a college exercise: as, to skin an example in mathematics by copying the solution.
  • To become covered with skin; grow a new skin; cicatrize: as, a wound skins over.
  • To accomplish anything by irregular, underhand, or dishonest means; specifically, in college use, to employ forbidden or unfair methods or expedients in preparing for recitation or examination.
  • To slip away; abscond; make off.
  • To range wide, as a dog in the field.
  • To take off the top layer of, as of a race-track.
  • n. In anat, and zoology, the continuous covering of an animal; the cutaneous investment of the body; the integument, cutis, or derm, especially when soft and flexible, a hard or rigid skin being called a shell, test, exoskeleton, etc.
  • n. The integument of an animal stripped from the body, with or without its appendages; a hide, pelt, or fur, either raw and green, or variously cured, dressed, or tanned.
  • n. In museums, the outer covering of an animal, preserved for examination or exhibition with the fur, feathers, etc., but not mounted or set up in imitation of life.
  • n. A water-vessel made of the whole or nearly the whole skin of a goat or other beast; a wine-skin. See cut under bottle.
  • n. That which resembles skin in nature or use; the outer coat or covering of anything; especially, the exterior coating or layer of any substance when firmer or tougher than the interior; a rind or peel: as, the skin of fruit or plants; the skin (putamen) of an egg.
  • n. Nautical:
  • n. That part of a furled sail which is on the outside and covers the whole.
  • n. The planking or iron plating which covers the ribs of a vessel on the inside; also, the thin plating on the outer side of the ribs of an armor-plated iron ship.
  • n. A mean, stingy person; a skinflint.
  • n. A hot punch of whisky made in the glass; a whisky-skin.
  • n. = Syn. 1, 2, and Skin, Hide, Pelt. Rind, Peel, Husk, Bull. Skin is the general word for the external covering or tissue of an animal, including man, and for coatings of fruits, especially such coatings as are thin, as of apples, Hide applies especially to the skin of large domestic animals, as horses and oxen. Pelt is an untanned skin of a beast with the hair on. Rind is used somewhat generally of the bark of trees, the natural covering of fruit, etc. Peel is the skin or rind of a fruit, which is easily removable by peeling off: as, orange-peel; the peel of a banana. Husk is an easily removable integument of certain plants, especially Indian corn. A hull is generally smaller than a husk, perhaps less completely covering the fruit: as, strawberry-hulls; raspberry-hulls.
  • n. In electricity, the outer layers of a conductor, which serve in the conduction of currents of high frequency.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. remove the bark of a tree
  • n. a person's skin regarded as their life
  • n. an outer surface (usually thin)
  • n. body covering of a living animal
  • v. bruise, cut, or injure the skin or the surface of
  • n. a natural protective body covering and site of the sense of touch
  • v. climb awkwardly, as if by scrambling
  • n. a bag serving as a container for liquids; it is made from the hide of an animal
  • v. strip the skin off
  • n. the rind of a fruit or vegetable


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Middle English, from Old Norse skinn.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English skinn, from Old Norse skinn ("animal hide"), from Proto-Germanic *skinþan (cf. Old English scinn ("hide"), Dutch schinde ("bark"), German dialect Schinde ("fruit peel")), from Proto-Celtic *skento- (cf. Breton skant ("scales"), Old Irish ceinn), from Proto-Indo-European *skend- (“to split off”) (cf. Irish scainim ("I tear, burst"), Latin scindere ("to split, divide"), Sanskrit  (chinátti, "he splits")), nasal variant of *skeh₁i-d- (“to cut”). More at shed.


  • Beneath the black hoods and hats, their faces were white, skin the color of alabaster and possessed of an abnormal quality, an unidentifiable property that ordinary skin -- _human skin_ -- did not have.

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  • The most advanced anti-aging skin care system for normal-to-dry skin A. Time DefiA.ce® Skin care System for normal-to-dry skin Give normal-to-dry skin the extra hydration it needs with this superb anti-aging skin care system that gives you 41% younger-looking skin* while instantly increasing skin hydration by 181%.

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  • II. iii.117 (452,3) Here, lay Duncan,/His silver skin lac'd with his golden blood] Mr. Pope has endeavoured to improve one of these lines by substituting _goary blood_ for _golden blood_; but it may easily be admitted that he who could on such an occasion talk of _lacing the silyer skin_, would _lace it_ with _golden blood_.

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  • The roasted plantain skin is mixed with palm oil and palm kernel oil to form the soap.

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  • Moreover, cutting off the circulation to any part of the body and leaving (hopefully) temporary indentations to the skin is another dead giveaway.

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  • What I think really gets under her skin is the fact that Barack Obama is wildly more popular among the people we have to share this planet with than her stuffed-sock-in-the-codpiece hero.

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  • She's wrapped in like a plastic bag to keep her warm, and her skin is all raw and bruised-looking, and she's on a ventilator.

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  • I do not want to be murdered because the combination of my comfortable status and my skin is an affront to those in the second tier.

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  • When I was a young kid, all of my friends and I knew the meaning of "escape by the skin of my teeth" and not a single one of us knew it was the translation of B'3or SHinai, a Hebrew pun on the word B'QoSHi (which means "barely, hardly, with difficulty") in the biblical book of Job 19:20. The 3 above represents the Hebrew letter aiyin with an ancient G/K-sound, as in 3aZa = Gaza.

    June 16, 2009

  • But the ascendant

    are these tattooed Skins,

    LOVE on one fist and

    HATE on the other.

    - Peter Reading, 5x5x5x5x5, 1983

    July 1, 2008

  • A contranym: both to cover (be covered) with, and to remove outer covering.

    May 15, 2008