Scum meaning

skŭm
Scum is defined as a layer of matter or debris on the surface of water or other liquids, or is slang for worthless or undesirable people.

A layer of dirt, algae and gunk that forms on top of your backyard pond if it is not clean is an example of scum.

Those who steal, cheat and lie are an example of scum.

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A filmy or frothy layer of matter that forms on the surface of a liquid or body of water or on a hard surface.
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The refuse or dross of molten metals.
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(slang) One, such as a person or an element of society, that is regarded as despicable or worthless.
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To remove the scum from.
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A thin layer of impurities which forms on the top of liquids or bodies of water, often as the result of boiling or fermentation.
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(informal) A low, despicable person, or such people collectively; lowlife.
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To become covered with scum.
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Scum is to become covered with a thin layer of matter or debris.

When a lake becomes covered on the top with a thin layer of dirt and debris, this is an example of when the lake scums over.

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Refuse or worthless matter.
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The dross or refuse on top of molten metals.
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Worthless parts or things; refuse.
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To form scum; become covered with scum.
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(uncountable) A layer of impurities that accumulates at the surface of a liquid (especially molten metal or water).
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(uncountable) A greenish water vegetation (such as algae), usually found floating on the surface of ponds.
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The topmost liquid layer of a cesspool or septic tank.
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(uncountable, slang, chiefly US) Semen.
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(countable, derogatory, slang) A reprehensible person or persons.
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To remove the layer of scum from (a liquid etc.).
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To remove (something) as scum.
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To become covered with scum.
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Milton.

Wandering up and down without certain seat, they lived by scumming those seas and shores as pirates.

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Origin of scum

  • Middle English from Middle Dutch schūm (s)keu- in Indo-European roots

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Middle English scum, scom, from Old English *scÅ«m (“foam") or Middle Dutch schÅ«me (“foam"), both from Proto-Germanic *skÅ«maz (“froth, foam"), from Proto-Indo-European *skeu- (“to cover, conceal"). Cognate with Dutch schuim (“foam"), German Schaum (“foam"), Danish and Swedish skum (“foam"). Compare also French écume (“scum"), Italian schiuma (“foam") Walloon schome (“scum, foam") from the same Germanic source. Related to skim.

    From Wiktionary