Definition of skin in English:



  • 1The thin layer of tissue forming the natural outer covering of the body of a person or animal.

    ‘I use body lotion to keep my skin supple’
    [mass noun] ‘a flap of skin’
    • ‘Long thin scars and old bite marks were scattered over the dark leathery skin of the demons' bodies.’
    • ‘He leaned in towards her, caressing her exposed creamy skin with uncharacteristic gentleness.’
    • ‘She paused, looking up so Yuko was looking at the creamy pale skin of her throat.’
    • ‘A tuberculin skin test result is positive in less than 50 percent of patients.’
    • ‘If moisturizer doesn't cure your itchy dry skin, schedule an appointment with your doctor.’
    • ‘His fair skin was burned on his cheeks because they were very rosy.’
    • ‘The light never touched his soft, tan skin.’
    • ‘"In the past lasers couldn't safely penetrate darker pigmented skin, " Dr Weiss said.’
    • ‘His lightly muscled tanned bare skin glistened in the sun and he felt very much like an article on display.’
    • ‘Robert tried to fight the creature with his gun, but the bullets couldn't penetrate its thick skin.’
    • ‘Her smooth ivory skin glistened with passion induced perspiration.’
    • ‘Every time his hands touched the bare skin of her neck, it sent shivers throughout her whole body.’
    • ‘An assortment of bruises in varying shade of purple and blue speckled my usually smooth, olive colored skin.’
    • ‘Sarah felt the warmth in her cheeks and the soft carpet caressing the sensitive skin between her bare toes.’
    • ‘His caramel colored skin glowed when he was happy.’
    • ‘Typical teen problems like zits had not touched his flawless pale skin.’
    • ‘Her exposed skin tingled against the cold, and she was so fervently trembling she was certain she would faint.’
    • ‘In simple terms, these products won't block pores or irritate sensitive skin.’
    • ‘The woman turns around, her dark brown skin glowing with the warmth of her smile.’
    • ‘Every inch of exposed skin was tanned from the sun, but not to an extreme.’
    epidermis, dermis
    complexion, colouring, skin colour, skin tone, pigmentation
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    1. 1.1The skin of a dead animal with or without the fur, used as material for clothing or other items.
      [mass noun] ‘is this real crocodile skin?’
      • ‘Equally important this season are textures, so there are generous lashings of exotic skins, suedes, leathers and horsehair.’
      • ‘He doffed his cap, also made from the skin of a dead animal - I later learned it was a raccoon.’
      • ‘Leopard skins, neo-traditionalist insignia, made frequent appearances at the installation of chiefs.’
      • ‘The ambitious divorcee noted how he made the skins of these dead animals so soft and supple.’
      • ‘The wearing of skins as normal clothing was unknown for both the Saxons and the Vikings.’
      • ‘The Inuit made all their clothing from various animal skins and hides.’
      • ‘When Galster happened upon a stall with three adult clouded leopard skins on display, he knew he was on to something.’
      • ‘They attempt to kill the bigger crocodiles for their skins, but this is a dangerous profession; it's difficult to bag a full grown male.’
      • ‘The court martial comes quickly and my newly sewed on stripes are ripped from my sleeve like the skin of a dead catfish.’
      • ‘Tanning, the process that converts raw hides or skins into leather, utilizes hazardous substances such as chromium and phenol.’
      • ‘At first Pryce thought they were wearing furs or skins of a striped animal, but then determined that their bodies were painted.’
      • ‘Millions of us manage to make a living every day without wearing the skins of dead minks.’
      • ‘In Masume he sold chamois skins to tanneries and there began his interest in leather.’
      • ‘Handbags and clothing are crafted from animal skins.’
      • ‘The Sun Dance ceremony practised by Plains Indians required the skins of dead animals in order to glorify the spirit of the wolf.’
      • ‘It is no coincidence that the process of turning animal skins into leather is called tanning.’
      • ‘It had fresco brick wall sides peaking upward as if inside a tent, there were tanned pelts of animal skins as tapestries on the wall.’
      • ‘In many places in India the traditional Coracle is made by blowing up the skin of a dead buffalo, stitching it together and sitting on it like using a large float.’
      • ‘Here's one that's really important because we've got a lot of sports fans in this town: touching the skin of a dead pig makes one unclean.’
      • ‘But does this change of heart over furry fashions mean that real fur and skins are here to stay?’
      hide, pelt, fleece
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2A container made from the skin of an animal such as a goat, used for holding liquids.
      ‘a skin filled with water’
      • ‘Amarice refilled the water skins while a few others went off exploring.’
      • ‘Three days passed, and the water skins were quite empty, the meager provisions long finished.’
      • ‘He shakes his wine skin and hops off of the branch in which he was sitting and walks to a small stream and fills his skin.’
      • ‘She then filled the skins with it and hurried back to the campsite.’
      • ‘The company watered the horses and filled the water skins on the wagon with water, and everything was tied down and given a last check.’
      • ‘At about noon we found another stream and refilled our water skins.’
      • ‘The water skin filled, quickly, and out of the top a stream of water burst out.’
      • ‘Lin appeared with the skins used for canteens, two filled with water and two with ale.’
      • ‘He had finished washing his knife and had started filling up their water skins for the night.’
      • ‘The three were given water skins and enough food for a week.’
      • ‘A deep, clear lake centered the oasis, and the first thing both riders did when they arrived was fill their skins full of the life-giving water.’
      • ‘The food supplies are gone and their water skins are empty.’
      • ‘They reached the food store, and Lydia immediately grabbed a few skins of water.’
      • ‘It contained food for three lunches as well as some small water skins.’
      • ‘After Larken had refilled their water skins in the nearby creek, she began to build a fire.’
      • ‘She found the vial, and poured it into one of the almost-empty water skins.’
      • ‘He instead took the job of filling their water skins.’
      • ‘By then, help had arrived in the form of an annoyed looking healer, Julan and Wethin trailing him and holding water skins awkwardly.’
  • 2An outer layer or covering, in particular.

    • ‘The distinctive bumpy skins are used to cover up wounds and to protect them from infection while they heal.’
    • ‘The skin is covered with small denticles, or scales, pointing backwards.’
    • ‘Symbolic skins are the surfaces that we encounter in our daily lives - on the surfaces of our bodies, in our homes, at work, and on the street.’
    • ‘Islam is just the outer skin of an onion covering animism, Hinduism and other ancient mysteries.’
    • ‘Galaxies of lights festooned the vessel, and the living skin of gold covered the gaping holes of cannon-barrels.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, thick layers of slate-colored skins began covering their exposed muscles.’
    casing, cover, covering, exterior, pod
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1The peel or outer layer of certain fruits or vegetables.
      ‘potatoes roasted in their skins’
      • ‘Peel the skin from the roast pepper halves and cut the stem off the aubergine halves.’
      • ‘Then, using a swivel vegetable peeler, peel off the skin.’
      • ‘The skin itself contains more tannin and, in black grapes, a colouring pigment.’
      • ‘However, wine yeast occurs in honey and the skins of sugar-rich fruits, and fermentation would have set in quickly in the hot climate.’
      • ‘The next day I began taking hardcore drugs - dried banana skins.’
      • ‘Wheat bran and the skins of fruits and vegetables are sources of insoluble fiber.’
      • ‘Making their way through the fruit skins and the heaps of garbage they start out towards the bus stand.’
      • ‘The fruit is eaten as a vegetable, the inner skin is ground into meal, and oil is extracted from the seeds.’
      • ‘The skins provide red wine with its colour and contain the highest concentration of polyphenols, potent antioxidants.’
      • ‘The skins were peeled from frozen berries to avoid mixing with pulp.’
      • ‘Remove the tomatoes with a slotted spoon, and peel off the skins while still warm.’
      • ‘The dried fruit skins are ground and provide a cheap alternative to coffee.’
      • ‘Pull out the stems and peel the skins off the peppers.’
      • ‘If you dried out banana skins, and smoked them, you would hallucinate immediately.’
      • ‘The fruit is shaped like but smaller than a pear, and has a shiny brown scaly skin.’
      • ‘Simply peel away the outer skin of the kiwi and place in a hard-cooked egg slicer.’
      • ‘Fruit skins were prepared fresh without eliminating physiological stress reactions prior to testing.’
      • ‘The skins and zest were peeled and the clementines were sectioned.’
      • ‘I bit into the peach and the fragile skin broke, filling my mouth with juice and peach meats.’
      • ‘Kitchen garbage, like the parts of vegetables that are not eaten and discarded fruit skins, may be utilized as compost.’
      peel, rind, outside
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    2. 2.2The thin outer covering of a sausage.
      ‘if you are using link-sausages, prick the skins well with a fork’
      • ‘Then, I imagine, it is pumped into sausage skins and served in a bun smothered in ketchup and mustard.’
      • ‘After less than a minute, the mixture was ready for the sausage machine, where skins (sheep and pig casing) are filled and the links twisted by hand.’
      • ‘Nicknamed bangers because of their tendency to explode if the skins are not pierced before frying, sausages have come a long way.’
      • ‘It is a pudding in the old sense of something enclosed in a sausage skin.’
      • ‘Peel the skins from the sausages - this is easiest if you slit the skin with the point of a knife then pull off the skins.’
      • ‘In another casserole, put the luganica sausage, free of skin and reduced to crumbs, and a little oil and fry until it starts to brown.’
      • ‘Squeeze the sausage meat out of the sausages and discard the skins.’
      • ‘In developing countries gut skins dominate the sausage market.’
    3. 2.3A thin layer forming on the surface of certain hot liquids, such as milk, as they cool.
      ‘Victoria was skimming the skin off the saucepan of milk’
      • ‘It is chilly enough that where the water is calm a skin of ice has formed.’
      • ‘Air must be excluded from the can by a tight-fitting lid, or a skin can form in the can.’
      • ‘To make matters worse, spinach was often on the menu and there was a skin on the milk they served for breakfast.’
      film, coating, coat, layer, overlay
      View synonyms
    4. 2.4informal A cigarette paper.
      ‘I passed her a plastic bag with skins and hash inside’
    5. 2.5The outermost layer of a structure such as a building or aircraft.
      • ‘It takes only a few hours to apply the skin to the structures and to close the village off from the elements.’
      • ‘Herzog & de Meuron's abiding interest in building skins is aggressively advanced at the Walker.’
      • ‘It took four months to model the skin, a curvilinear structure and the auditorium interior and ceiling.’
      • ‘Airlines including El Al are developing guns which will disable hijackers but not pierce the skin of an aircraft.’
      • ‘This suggests that the explosive was placed directly on the aircraft's skin.’
      • ‘The hole in the floor was covered with a sliding panel flush with the aircraft's skin.’
      • ‘Lux Studios preserved its exterior skin and opted for all new interiors.’
      • ‘It was going up to the 27th floor, so they had to peel the skin off of the building and peel the windows out.’
      • ‘If your home has cavity walls (two separate skins of brick), filling the gap with insulating foam halves the energy loss.’
      • ‘The men swung axes and hammers into the aluminum skin on the tapering wings and fuselages.’
      • ‘Check for wrinkles in the fuselage skin where the main gear leg goes into the fuselage.’
      • ‘Obviously, there's some damage to the exterior skin; a couple of panels that have come off.’
      • ‘With the wing structure complete, the wings were then covered with aircraft grade mahogany skin.’
      • ‘Originally, the aluminum skin of the building was not supposed to have color accents, says Stern.’
      • ‘The wing has been detached from the fuselage to facilitate repairs to portions of the wing skin.’
      • ‘Along the fuselage belly, the skin exhibited extreme bulging typical of corrosion damage.’
      • ‘Oddly enough, he could see sparks fly as the bullets impacted the skin of the aircraft.’
      • ‘The longerons were good and did not need replacement but we did replace some skins on the lower fuselage.’
      • ‘The building skin has been constructed, conceptually, from a melding of the two.’
      • ‘The stair and theatre foyers are complex folded volumes that reiterate the language of the building skin.’
      casing, cover, covering, exterior, pod
      View synonyms
    6. 2.6A strip of sealskin or other material attached to the underside of a ski to prevent a skier slipping backwards during climbing.
      • ‘We stripped off the synthetic climbing skins from our skis.’
      • ‘If you're a skier, slap a pair of climbing skins on your skis and you've got an impressively efficient way to get uphill.’
      • ‘This package includes learning the art of climbing with skins, off-piste skiing and mountain navigation with a qualified instructor.’
      • ‘I understand that the skins were probably 50 years old.’
      • ‘I put the skins on one more time in the timber to gain a little more vertical on the last section into Schofeild Park.’
      • ‘What's more, split-board skins are considerably wider, and therefore have more traction, than a skier's skins.’
      • ‘My climbing skins grip slushy snow for a moment, then slip back with an exhausting lurch.’
      • ‘Snap on your ski crampons if the going gets icy or your skins are slipping.’
      • ‘Attach climbing skins to your skis and up you go.’
      • ‘We huddle together to fit skins to our skis, fingers instantly numbed to frozen sausages.’
      • ‘Climbing skins stick to the bottom of your skis or snowboard and let you motor uphill.’
      • ‘The route got steeper and we put climbing skins (strips of special fur) on our ski bottoms.’
      • ‘Ascending with climbing skins is easier than kicking steps, and skis let you make a fast exit when bad weather rolls in.’
  • 3British informal A skinhead.

    ‘we were surrounded by skins with tattoos and braces’
    • ‘As for punks 'n' skins in Derby, there's hardly any.’
    • ‘Mostly it's a mixture of punks and skins but we have also played on specific skinhead-gigs.’
    • ‘They were surrounded by a devoted crowd of aging skins, punks & Goths worshipping at the church of Sioux.’
    • ‘From my experiences, punks & skins generally get along OK.’
    • ‘Thanks for the interview, and thanks to all the psychos, punks and skins who've supported us in the UK.’
  • 4informal (especially in jazz) a drum or drum head.

    • ‘And last time I checked, Mr. Carlos did not pound skins for Metallica.’
    • ‘He created original sounds from his cymbals and skins using sticks, brushes, and even his hands.’
    • ‘Steve Albini would be so proud of the heavy metallic rumblings produced by Gar Wood's bass guitar, and Jason Kourkounis simply shreds his skins.’
    • ‘That is, the bass pounds a little heavier, the skins hit a little cleaner, and the guitars are a bit more direct, and all in the most unobtrusive way possible.’
    • ‘With Hawkins' long, blond hair covering his goatee and Grohl wailing on the skins, it almost felt like 1993.’
    • ‘Volunteer your band for the show, and be sure to tear up the skins with a drum solo.’
    • ‘While this chaos all unfolded up front, drummer Damon Richardson beat the skins with reckless abandon.’
    • ‘Weiss pulverizes the skins, and the guitars of Brownstein and Tucker play off of one another with furious intensity.’
    • ‘The guy hits the skins as if he's trying to nail them to the floor.’
    • ‘Carved from tweneboa, a Ghanaian cedar tree, the drums have fragile skins and tuning pegs.’
    • ‘These boys don't need any chemical assistance to do some very nice things to your brain; just a few strings, pedals, sticks and, er, skins.’
    • ‘Jordan, in particular, was a sight to behold as he unleashed his relentless fury on the skins.’
    • ‘At one point, the drummer switched instruments with the lead Live Girl - who absolutely sucked on the skins.’
    • ‘There's a whole list of guests on Love & Respect with Robert Palmer showing up and ex-Band drummer Levon Helm hitting the skins.’
    • ‘Diaz deploys at least five congas to create his dense patter, their skins tuned for maximum musicality.’
    • ‘Drummer Ste Barrow is frantically searching for a replacement having just split the skin on his bass drum.’
    • ‘A dull aching head-ache drummed through her head like finger pads on a drum skin.’
  • 5informal [as modifier] Relating to or denoting pornographic literature or films.

    ‘the skin trade’
    • ‘This is undoubtedly one of the best, most bedazzling films of his skin show career.’
  • 6US [mass noun] A card game in which each player has one card which they bet will not be the first to be matched by a card dealt from the pack.

  • 7Computing
    A customized graphic user interface for an application or operating system.

    • ‘They swapped modding techniques and hundreds of custom skins over the website message board.’
    • ‘The white console is customisable too, with the ability to swap everything from the console's faceplate to the skins on the software interface.’
    • ‘Not only can you download skins, but GQradio comes with a built-in skin editor so you can unleash your creative spirit.’
    • ‘Do you have any plans to offer support for the mod community that likes to create original skins and custom levels?’
    • ‘For example, will it be possible to use custom skins or will you release tools to allow users to build custom levels?’
  • 8Australian A unit into which an Aboriginal people is divided, typically on the basis of descent, each skin being associated with a totemic bird, animal, or insect.

    • ‘The injury that I might do to a native, is a hurt done to the group or skin, as they call it, of which he is a member.’
    • ‘The logo was designed by a now deceased Gunwinggu man of the gamarrang subsection or 'skin' from the Born clan.’
    • ‘In combination with the kinship avoidance structure, there is the 'skin' system.’
    • ‘There were many among the white settlers who had high respect for the Aboriginal skin system.’
    • ‘Marriage or sexual relationships with any member of the other seven 'skins' are regarded as improper.’


  • 1Remove the skin from (an animal or a fruit or vegetable)

    ‘scald and skin the tomatoes’
    ‘she skinned the pig and salted the carcass’
    • ‘She immediately began skinning the rabbits and cutting them into chunks of edible meat, omitting the organs.’
    • ‘Gutting and skinning the rabbits wouldn't take too long - Father had also taught me how to do that.’
    • ‘He skinned the large creature and tossed the large pieces of skin and fur in a pile to the side.’
    • ‘She laid the logs down, started a little fire, and began skinning the deer with her sword.’
    • ‘Ellie sighed, said, ‘Okay, you're forgiven,’ and skinned the rabbit very carefully.’
    • ‘We even forgave him for skinning a monkey and wearing it as a coat.’
    • ‘Trudy sat squatted down, skinning a rabbit she'd caught.’
    • ‘He is shown feeding the sheep and skinning a rabbit.’
    • ‘He might have added that if you do try to skin a tiger one paw at a time, it will get very, very cross.’
    • ‘Then, when he had finished, he got Zi to help him skin the deer and preserve the meat, in case they ever ran out of food.’
    • ‘After a brisk trot back to his make shift camp, Hawk began to skin the rabbits.’
    • ‘I quickly ran over and skinned the large beast that had caused these wounds on him.’
    • ‘Remove from the oven, skin the tomatoes then place everything, including any juices, in the blender.’
    • ‘Cows are still skinned and dismembered alive, and pigs are still scalded to death, just like chickens are.’
    • ‘The first thing I ever cooked was rabbit pie - she skinned the rabbit and I did the rest.’
    • ‘They had a sofa bed, but it looked as if they'd skinned the dog from Blues' Clues to make it.’
    • ‘It is a malicious lie that the Dalits were found skinning a live cow.’
    • ‘During his journey he had used the knives to skin rabbits caught by his dogs.’
    • ‘They can surf the waves, skin a rabbit and dazzle a television audience.’
    • ‘And unless we want to be skinning some Realmshirian rabbit down the road, we do need more food.’
    peel, pare, hull
    View synonyms
  • 2Graze (a part of one's body)

    ‘he scrambled down from the tree with such haste that he skinned his knees’
    • ‘When I was little and I had skinned my knees or elbows or something, I'd come home crying.’
    • ‘The fact I can jump into a half-pipe and never skin my knee or break a bone - the escapism is one huge appeal.’
    • ‘Another thing is when I skin my knee or fall, they make a big deal about it.’
    • ‘And you'll remember stuff like a tone of voice or your knee burning because you skinned it real bad.’
    • ‘I had skinned my knee so I sat down and Jennifer said that you could see everything from here.’
    • ‘I just star fished on the ground and skinned all my knees.’
    • ‘I'm thinking about skinning my knee, getting rug burns or ‘Indian’ burns, things like that.’
    • ‘Miraculously, the victim was merely treated for skinned knees, while Simon was arrested and fined for violent conduct.’
    • ‘We hadn't been this close since I last skinned my knee when I was eleven.’
    • ‘The stairs were hard on my elbows and knees, and I skinned them all badly.’
    • ‘It's like skinning your knee when you're a little kid.’
    • ‘August was not August unless it was coloured by the few incidents of skinned knees, cuts and bruises.’
    • ‘One of Matt's friends had tripped and skinned his knee earlier that evening.’
    • ‘I was lying on the ground, and I had skinned my knees and my elbows on the asphalt.’
    • ‘Your red hair which you tied into a French braid that morning was still perfectly fine, your knee was skinned.’
    • ‘She lives for the adrenaline rush of attending to ‘little angels’ who skinned their knees.’
    • ‘I, however, did seriously skin both my knees and so completely stuff myself it took about 2 hours to recover.’
    • ‘It's right up there with having cavities drilled and skinning my knees!’
    • ‘If you fell and skinned your knee or caught a cold, it was because God had seen you do something wrong.’
    • ‘One particular time she remembered was when Vicki had skinned her knee on the way over to her friend Wil's house.’
    graze, scrape, abrade, bark, cut, rub something raw, chafe
    View synonyms
  • 3[no object] (of a wound) form new skin.

    ‘the hole in his skull skinned over’
    • ‘My guess is that the stain is too thickly applied and has skinned over.’
    1. 3.1archaic [with object]Cover with skin.
      ‘the wound was skinned, but the strength of his thigh was not restored’
  • 4informal Take money from or swindle (someone)

    ‘I ain't no dummy, and I know when I'm being skinned’
    • ‘The gimmick has generated so much publicity, Mercury is trying to devise an equivalent design - without skinning the author - for the planned 5,000 book run.’
    • ‘Inevitably then, it can only financially top up local authorities by skinning you and I to an even deeper extent than it is already doing.’
  • 5Soccer
    informal (of a player) take the ball past (a defender) with ease.

    ‘Kanchelskis would have skinned him’
    • ‘Ballack set him free with subtle chip over the top, and Klose skinned the out-rushing keeper before slotting it home with ease.’
    • ‘Taking Colgan's pass, he skinned two defenders for pace, shipped another tackle and popped over with the inside of his left boot.’
    • ‘Cristiano Ronaldo works his magic to skin Yevseyen down the left wing and cross for Nuno Gomes.’
    • ‘Part of the problem was traced back to one high-rolling casino player who managed to skin the firm for £3m.’
    • ‘He skins him again and puts in another tempting cross, which is fumbled away for a corner.’
  • 6British informal [no object] Make a cannabis cigarette.

    ‘we had a few beers and then we skinned up’
    • ‘I'd skin up, only I seem to ‘ave run out of Rizlas myself.’
    • ‘At the end of a hard days work I like nothing more than to skin up a joint and get high.’
    • ‘If she saw Rafe Moretti, she wouldn't've pinched his cheek, she would've bought a gram off him and skinned up right then and there.’
    • ‘But Chris says his brother, Mark - who skins up every morning before work and updates his Web site with snow conditions - is the real maniac of the family.’
    • ‘I then visualised myself sitting in a desert, skinning up two joints, one for me, and one for Bast.’
    • ‘Let's kick off with some suitably chilled warm-up music, while you pitch your virtual tent and skin up a virtual fat one.’


  • be skin and bone

    • (of a person or animal) be very thin.

      ‘she was nothing but skin and bone’
      • ‘He was skin and bone, too weak to hold his head up.’
      • ‘She was the thinnest fox he had ever seen, practically skin and bone.’
      • ‘She was tiny at a weight of 4lb 11 oz and she was skin and bone then… now she's a great baby to play with and she's nine months old.’
      • ‘Posh Spice isn't all that - she's all skin and bone and she's got horrible spots.’
      • ‘I couldn't even tell what it was because it was skin and bone.’
      • ‘I treated people with unrelenting diarrhea, emaciated to skin and bone, crippled with nerve pain, and lost in dementia.’
      • ‘She was only skin and bone and obviously very ill.’
      • ‘If I'd lost another ten I'd have been skin and bone.’
      • ‘One day she saw this gardener - skin and bone - working very slowly and coughing all the time.’
      • ‘She was just skin and bone when she was rescued from the knacker's yard.’
  • by the skin of one's teeth

    • By a very narrow margin; only just.

      ‘I only got away by the skin of my teeth’
      • ‘In the earlier game the Eagles got home by the skin of their teeth.’
      • ‘Well, I think they got out of this by the skin of their teeth from their point of view.’
      • ‘On the other end of the spectrum are cases in which a conviction is sustained, but in some ways almost by the skin of their teeth.’
      • ‘‘You have escaped prison by the skin of your teeth,’ the judge told him.’
      • ‘The Oxford University Pool Team has not lost to Cambridge since 1999, when the ‘rascal Tabs’ managed to grind out a 46-44 victory by the skin of their teeth.’
      • ‘You have escaped from going to prison by the skin of your teeth.’
      • ‘A Hampshire firefighter based at Redbridge Fire Station said: ‘They only got out by the skin of their teeth.’’
      • ‘At Pennypit, meanwhile, Berwick held on to third spot by the skin of their teeth with a one-point 26-25 win over Preston Lodge.’
      • ‘As the ball was kicked out referee Pet Moran blew the full time whistle with Portlaoise holding out by the skin of their teeth.’
      • ‘Shepherd ‘B’ won by the skin of their teeth to go second.’
      only just, just, narrowly, by a hair's breadth, by a very small margin, by the narrowest of margins, barely, by a nose
      by a whisker
      View synonyms
  • get under someone's skin

    • 1informal Annoy or irritate someone intensely.

      ‘it was the sheer effrontery of them which got under my skin’
      • ‘What's most annoying is that it seems to get under your skin - not irritating like a rash, more like an itch that needs to be scratched.’
      • ‘This rich kid was getting under my skin, but the free ride out of town in a jiffy was what I was after.’
      • ‘Casey tries not to let such negativity bother him, but it gets under his skin nonetheless.’
      • ‘Ugh, someone here is getting under my skin, really starting to annoy me, and I can't put my figure on why/how exactly.’
      • ‘She would never let them manage to anger her or get under her skin.’
      • ‘What gets under our skin, aggravates, infuriates, frustrates and makes us hate is of the same seed that also begets love and divine revelation.’
      irritate, annoy, gall, irk, get someone's back up, put someone's back up, pique, rankle with, nettle, needle, bother, vex, provoke, displease, upset, offend, affront, anger, exasperate, disgruntle, ruffle, get on someone's nerves, ruffle someone's feathers, make someone's hackles rise, raise someone's hackles, rub up the wrong way
      View synonyms
    • 2informal Fill someone's mind in a compelling and persistent way.

      ‘he had managed to get under my skin—I couldn't wait to be with him’
      • ‘His intensely intimate music gets under your skin rather than grabbing you by the lapels.’
      • ‘Then I did a little play and quite liked that and it got under my skin.’
      • ‘In twice finding myself in the thick of efforts to save it from closure, the club has really got under my skin.’
      • ‘I've never warmed to Bowie, which is the same as saying: Bowie never really chilled me, got under my skin, possessed me…’
      • ‘It gets under your skin and opens up a space that is filled by sadness and silence.’
      • ‘Albert's Sam is a study in understatement, slowly but surely getting under Izzy 's skin.’
      • ‘We didn't know what it was, but it got under your skin; it was a very hip, gospel, Latin sound.’
      • ‘Who were the other writers who got under your skin?’
      • ‘We wanted to make a movie that slowly got under your skin, that was about building, inescapable dread.’
      • ‘Some songs get under your skin and refuse to move.’
      obsess, intrigue, captivate, interest greatly, charm
      View synonyms
    • 3informal Reach or display a deep understanding of someone.

      ‘movies that get under the skin of the British national character’
      • ‘And yes, you guys did manage to get under my skin.’
      • ‘Then he comes in contact with a woman who gets under his skin.’
      • ‘I know it's a cliche but I thought the author really managed to get under Clara 's skin in a way which made us empathise with her.’
      • ‘He changed his ways many years ago because a good, decent woman got under his skin and made him understand what love was all about.’
  • give someone (some) skin

    • informal Shake or slap hands together as a gesture or friendship or solidarity.

      ‘the Orioles might be giving each other skin until midnight’
      • ‘I gave him some skin, and his mother gave him a hug.’
      • ‘'Give me some skin on that one,' said Spencer, thrusting his palm toward Winston.’
      • ‘He raised up his hand, palm side down. "Give me some skin, brother." I stuck out my hand and smiled.’
      • ‘Remember the time he went to give me skin and I shook his hand!’
  • have skin in the game

    • informal Have a personal investment in an organization or undertaking, and therefore a vested interest in its success.

      • ‘Sure, he had skin in the game.’
      • ‘A consultant may have skin in the game if you buy from a certain vendor.’
      • ‘"I never get involved in a company unless I have skin in the game," he said.’
      • ‘He said on "This Week" yesterday, everybody has got to have skin in the game.’
      • ‘Having skin in the game kept everyone motivated and honest, essential in an operation that trusted players to walk around with thousands of dollars in their pockets.’
      • ‘When you share bad news and try to reassure people, they're likely not to believe you unless they feel you have skin in the game.’
      • ‘But all politics are local and it's very personal when you feel you have skin in the game.’
      • ‘You have sweat on your brow, but your partner has skin in the game.’
      • ‘"You want them to have skin in the game and this is a good way to get that," he says.’
      • ‘It is for people who have skin in the game.’
  • have a thick (or thin) skin

    • Be insensitive (or oversensitive) to criticism or insults.

      ‘the job called for a thick skin and an aggressive personality’
      • ‘Let me begin by stating that I am a human being although I have a thick skin.’
      • ‘It's a good job I have a thick skin is all I can say, the abuse was substantial and relentless.’
      • ‘I don't have a thick skin naturally, but I've had to at times.’
      • ‘Del Ponte dismissed the criticism: ‘He who does not have a thick skin should choose another field of work,’ she said.’
      • ‘The Olympic association and other officials seem to have a thick skin.’
      • ‘I have a thick skin, but when your family members get affected by it, it's time to leave.’
      • ‘I have a thick skin, but I constantly ‘feel’ like I'm offending everyone.’
      • ‘There's no point in having a thin skin in this game.’
      • ‘Chairmen and chief executives need to have a thick skin and take justified criticism of their companies in the way it is intended.’
      • ‘‘I realise that I will not be on the Christmas card list in Badenoch and Strathspey this year but I have a thick skin,’ he said.’
  • it's no skin off my nose (or usoff my back)

    • informal Used to indicate that one is not offended or adversely affected by something.

      ‘‘I've not much appetite, I'm afraid.’ ‘No skin off my nose.’’
      • ‘I probably shouldn't comment because it's no skin off my nose if you undergrads want to gut your services in order to get $30 more beer money a term.’
      • ‘I mean, it's no skin off my nose if Greenwald and screenwriter Ernest Thompson (On Golden Pond) wanted to go with such a formalist framework.’
      • ‘Half-joking, she notes ‘it's no skin off my nose’ if the film fails, as she's the support.’
      • ‘When I say ‘it's no skin off my nose ‘, there is an immediate context that gives the expression more meaning.’
      • ‘But, finally, a word for the guys at the Met office - if your forecast does happen to be part of a conspiracy, it's no skin off my nose.’
      • ‘Look, it's no skin off my nose - he's not after me, so I couldn't care less.’
      • ‘I assumed the position of ‘I'll go look at it, cos it's no skin off my nose’ and went along early evening.’
      i don't care, i don't mind, i'm not bothered, it doesn't bother me, it doesn't matter to me, it's of no concern to me, it's of no importance to me
      i don't care a damn, i don't care a hoot, i don't care a rap, i don't care a toss, i don't give a damn, i don't give a hoot, i don't give a rap, i don't give a toss, i don't give a monkey's
      i don't give a shit
      View synonyms
  • keep (or sleep in) a whole skin

    • archaic Escape being wounded or injured.

      ‘if he means to keep a whole skin on his bones, I recommend him not to come back in a hurry’
      • ‘It is agreeable to keep a whole skin; but the skin still remains an organ sensitive to the atmosphere.’
      • ‘There is defeat, even in the rest he wins, to the man who, that he may keep a whole skin, turns and runs from the battle.’
      • ‘But were concerned rather in keeping a whole skin by parlaying or by spilling cowardly tears to excite pity.’
      • ‘For if he wanted to be safe, and considered it his first object to sleep in a whole skin, it had been his best way not to have stirred from home.’
  • make someone's skin crawl (or creep)

    • Cause someone to experience an uncomfortable sensation of horror or disgust.

      • ‘It was one of sadistic smugness that made Analise 's skin crawl.’
      • ‘Justin was, well, Justin, and the thought of him doing that with Rebecca was enough to make Michael 's skin crawl.’
      • ‘A clerk innocently used a word to describe a section of books that made Cisneros 's skin crawl.’
      • ‘This assistant had the stomach for torture, bloodshed, and all of the things that made Tyrell 's skin crawl.’
      • ‘His smile was silk - a malicious caress that made Joe 's skin crawl.’
      • ‘The very idea of being around magic made Karl 's skin crawl.’
      • ‘She hadn't even said anything to this girl, but she could make Hannah 's skin crawl.’
      • ‘The mere knowledge that I talked to you makes Greg 's skin crawl, and I'm not going to hurt him by meeting you.’
      • ‘It wasn't about all those things Francis did that made Van Gundy 's skin crawl and the hair on the back of his neck stand on end.’
      • ‘There was something about Lazar's matter-of-fact tone that made Carl 's skin crawl.’
  • skin and blister

    • rhyming slang One's sister.

      • ‘As it happens ‘twin sister’ fits well with ‘skin and blister’ doesn't it?’
      female sibling
      View synonyms
  • skin (one's) teeth

    • Laugh or smile.

      ‘Ambrose skinned his teeth, but didn't laugh out loud’
      • ‘Benoit's fish is lovely, but it's Leo's soup that skins our teeth.’
      • ‘I took the same seat that I was just in and skinned my teeth.’
  • there's more than one way to skin a cat

    • proverb There's more than one way of achieving one's aim.

      • ‘However, there's more than one way to skin a cat.’
      • ‘‘It is an option open to the club but there are loads of ways to skin a cat,’ he said.’
      • ‘Or more prosaically, there's more than one way to skin a cat.’
      • ‘There is more than one way to skin a cat, or protect your assets.’
      • ‘I don't necessarily see the two interpretations as mutually exclusive, because we're in the melty melty realms of myth here where there's more than one way to skin a cat.’
      • ‘You learn as you get older there's more than one way to skin a cat.’
      • ‘Maybe those dummies in their corporate towers have finally gotten the message and realised that there's more than one way to skin a cat.’
      • ‘Harry Briggs, City of York councillor for Haxby, said: ‘Maybe people in Haxby have got more brains, after all there's more than one way to skin a cat.’’
      • ‘There's innumerable ways to skin a metallic cat so why cling to an outdated formula?’
  • under the skin

    • In reality, as opposed to superficial appearances.

      ‘he still believes that all women are goddesses under the skin’
      • ‘However, under the skin, there are more significant additions and upgrades.’
      • ‘Air vents in the bonnet have also gone, another clue that things are different under the skin.’
      • ‘There is something chilling in the will for violence latent under the skin of our society - and it is not an appetite which should be fed.’
      • ‘And suddenly I think the tattooed man has got it wrong, and that we're not all the same under the skin.’
      • ‘This well-crafted documentary probes under the skin of taxidermy and finds much more than glass eyes and straw.’
      • ‘We're in the tradition of journalists going out and trying to get under the skin of the country.’
      • ‘Those more important things are easing under the skin of her characters and making sure she finds the right fit.’


Late Old English scinn, from Old Norse skinn; related to Dutch schinden flay, peel and German schinden.