Try Our Apps


90s Slang You Should Know


[skant-ling] /ˈskænt lɪŋ/
a timber of relatively slight width and thickness, as a stud or rafter in a house frame.
such timbers collectively.
the width and thickness of a timber.
the dimensions of a building stone.
  1. a dressed timber or rolled metal member used as a framing member in a vessel.
  2. the dimension, in cross section, of a framing member.
a small quantity or amount.
Origin of scantling
1520-30; scant + -ling1; replacing Middle English scantilon < Old French escantillon gauge Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for scantling
Historical Examples
  • The car was completed by laying a couple of boards across from one scantling to the other to serve as seats.

    The Scientific American Boy A. Russell (Alexander Russell) Bond
  • Look out there, Jerry, or that piece of scantling will be down on your head!

  • Sometimes the top-arming was of scantling, or thin plank, in which case it was called a pavesse.

    On the Spanish Main John Masefield
  • Only her scantling and her tonnage unfitted her for frigate-service.

    The Maid of Sker Richard Doddridge Blackmore
  • The sheets of corrugated iron are nailed to the joists and to the scantling at the roof.

  • The scantling of the hatch-cover that secured them was of unusual thickness.

    My Danish Sweetheart, Volume 3 of 3 William Clark Russell
  • Bailey went out to the front of the shanty to look at the lantern he had set up on a scantling.

    The Moccasin Ranch Hamlin Garland
  • You have not got the scantling for the metal you carry and are always working.

    Springhaven R. D. Blackmore
  • In reality it consisted of three stout planks braced together underneath, and resting on scantling supports.

  • There it stopped, supported as before, by short pieces of scantling.

    The Chainbearer J. Fenimore Cooper
British Dictionary definitions for scantling


a piece of sawn timber, such as a rafter, that has a small cross section
the dimensions of a piece of building material or the structural parts of a ship, esp those in cross section
a building stone, esp one that is more than 6 feet in length
a small quantity or amount
Word Origin
C16: changed (through influence of scant and -ling1) from earlier scantillon, a carpenter's gauge, from Old Norman French escantillon, ultimately from Latin scandere to climb; see scan
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for scantling

1520s, "measured or prescribed size," altered from scantlon, scantiloun "dimension" (c.1400), earlier a type of mason's tool for measuring thickness (c.1300), a shortening of Old French escantillon (Modern French échantillon "sample pattern"), of uncertain origin; perhaps ultimately from Latin scandere "to climb" (see scan (v.)). Sense influenced by scant. Meaning "small wooden beam" is 1660s. Related: Scantlings.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for scantling

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for scantling

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for scantling