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sliding scale

a variable scale, especially of industrial costs, as wages, that may be adapted to changes in demand.
a wage scale varying with the selling price of goods produced, the cost of living, or profits.
a price scale, as of medical fees, in which prices vary according to the ability of individuals to pay.
a tariff scale varying according to changing prices.
Origin of sliding scale
First recorded in 1700-10 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for sliding scale
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Royalties were to be paid on a sliding scale, and, from the very first, they were large.

    Cap'n Warren's Wards Joseph C. Lincoln
  • The reduction on a sliding scale is then applied to Class B owners.

    Our National Forests Richard H. Douai Boerker
  • She expects him to have a sliding scale of prices for his goods as she has for her furs.

  • It is obvious that sex-education must be advanced on the process of a sliding scale.

  • There is a sliding scale of understanding, as there is a sliding scale of inspiration.

    The Bridling of Pegasus Alfred Austin
British Dictionary definitions for sliding scale

sliding scale

a variable scale according to which specified wages, tariffs, prices, etc, fluctuate in response to changes in some other factor, standard, or conditions
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
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sliding scale in Culture

sliding scale definition

A set of rates that change according to a mathematical formula. The income tax, for example, is levied on a sliding scale, with the rich paying a higher percentage than the poor.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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