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scaffold

[skaf-uh ld, -ohld]
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noun
  1. a temporary structure for holding workers and materials during the erection, repair, or decoration of a building.
  2. an elevated platform on which a criminal is executed, usually by hanging.
  3. a raised platform or stage for exhibiting spectacles, seating spectators, etc.
  4. any raised framework.
  5. a suspended platform that is used by painters, window washers, and others for working on a tall structure, as a skyscraper.
  6. Metallurgy. any piling or fusion of materials in a blast furnace, obstructing the flow of gases and preventing the uniform descent of the charge.
  7. a system of raised frameworks; scaffolding.
verb (used with object)
  1. to furnish with a scaffold or scaffolding.
  2. to support by or place on a scaffold.

Origin of scaffold

1300–50; Middle English scaffot, skaffaut, scaffalde < Old French escadafaut; akin to catafalque
Related formsun·scaf·fold·ed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for scaffold

scaffold

noun
  1. a temporary metal or wooden framework that is used to support workmen and materials during the erection, repair, etc, of a building or other construction
  2. a raised wooden platform on which plays are performed, tobacco, etc, is dried, or (esp formerly) criminals are executed
verb (tr)
  1. to provide with a scaffold
  2. to support by means of a scaffold
Derived Formsscaffolder, noun

Word Origin

C14: from Old French eschaffaut, from Vulgar Latin catafalicum (unattested); see catafalque
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for scaffold

n.

mid-14c., "wooden framework used in building, etc., temporary structure for workmen to make walls," a shortening of an Old North French variant of Old French eschafaut "scaffold" (Modern French échafaud), probably altered (by influence of eschace "a prop, support") from chaffaut, from Vulgar Latin *catafalicum (see catafalque). Meaning "platform for a hanging" is from 1550s. Dutch schavot, German Schafott, Danish skafot are from French. As a verb from 1540s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

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