scum Meaning, Definition & Usage
noun worthless people
noun a film of impurities or vegetation that can form on the surface of a liquid
verb remove the scum from
EtymologyOf Scand. origin; cf. Dan. & Sw.
The extraneous matter or impurities which rise to the surface of liquids in boiling or fermentation, or which form on the surface by other means; also, the scoria of metals in a molten state; dross.
Some to remove the scum it did rise. Spenser.
refuse; recrement; anything vile or worthless.
The great and innocent are insulted by the scum and refuse of the people. Addison.
Scum transitive verb
To take the scum from; to clear off the impure matter from the surface of; to skim.
You that scum the molten lead. Dryden & Lee.
To sweep or range over the surface of.Obs.
Wandering up and down without certain seat, they lived by scumming those seas and shores as pirates. Milton.
Scum intransitive verb
To form a scum; to become covered with scum. Also used figuratively.
Life, and the interest of life, have stagnated and scummed over. A. K. H. Boyd.