Definition of cream something off in English:

cream something off

phrasal verb

  • 1Take the best of (a group of people or things), especially in a way that is considered unfair.

    ‘the schools cream off some of the better students’
    • ‘Lucky or prescient players would win fabulous prizes, and pure, unbiased, aggregate intelligence could be creamed off the top because markets always get it right in the end.’
    • ‘Now admittedly, this is largely because of the fees being creamed off by the investment managers.’
    • ‘The specialized schools will continue to cream off the very best of our students, while the marginal and challenged are left behind in the general high school population.’
    • ‘Who historically has skimmed the cream off the top?’
    • ‘Of course, the small integrated schools will cream off a lot of the glory because of their name and ethos.’
    • ‘Any system which creams off the most academically gifted children and then submits them to a national test set by all pupils should have outstanding results.’
    • ‘They enable women to manage this double shift, but at the cost of their ambition, creating a twin-track labour market with men creaming off all the top jobs.’
    • ‘The result has been destructive with ‘top’ schools creaming off the best talent.’
    • ‘His argument is that grammar schools depress standards by creaming off the most able pupils.’
    • ‘Neighbouring schools and boroughs complained that brighter children were being creamed off, seriously disadvantaging those schools which were still genuinely comprehensive.’
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    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Make a disproportionate or excessive profit on a transaction.
      ‘Those active in the sector who were creaming it off during the boom are having to fight for business now.’
      • ‘This allowed the regime to sell 10% more oil to pay for the imports and to cream the extra money off for itself.’
      • ‘However, hosting the games cost NSW taxpayers about $2 billion, although the AOC creamed off a $100 million surplus which guaranteed its future.’
      • ‘But the promises of prize money and appearance fees that illuminate a way out of poverty also make youngsters easy prey for unscrupulous agents looking to cream off a large share of the proceeds.’
      • ‘He has been subjected to hours of questioning this week on the web of offshore companies which investigators suspect was used to cream off cash and provide a smoke screen to divert regulators.’
      • ‘Governments of all colours cream off taxes and then use them to bribe the special interest groups whose support they need.’
      • ‘He observes that in Germany the copyright union that ostensibly collects all of these taxes on resales from art dealers creams off 60 percent of everything that comes in to pay the salaries of the copyright union employees.’
      • ‘Firstly, the less you invest the higher the percentage the company creams off your normal contribution.’
      • ‘While patient care suffered and continues to do so, numerous managers are creaming off the top with salaries that we as nurses can only dream about.’
      • ‘In the past they were content with creaming off the surplus through bribes and insider dealing, but for some time now they have decided they want the lot.’