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Definition: skin

(1) Regarding alternating current, see skin effect.

(2) A custom look and feel for a graphical interface (GUI). Operating systems and applications may have a built-in selection of skins or accept new ones from third parties. Also called "themes," skins include the background scenes, menu and button styles, colors, fonts, window borders and sometimes different arrangements and locations of the elements. See theme aware and app reskinning.

Skins for Windows
Stardock's WindowBlinds offers a host of custom looks for Windows. (Image courtesy of Stardock Corporation, Inc., www.stardock.com)

(3) A covering for hardware. There are numerous vinyl coverings that stick onto cellphones, iPods, the backs of laptops and the sides of tower cases. They depict myriad subjects such as sports, high-tech and fantasy.

Hardware Skins
Skinit not only lets people choose from hundreds of designs, but users can fashion their own at the Skinit website. (Image courtesy of Skinit, Inc., www.skinit.com)