[skaf-uh l-ding, -ohl-]


a scaffold or system of scaffolds.
materials for scaffolds.

Origin of scaffolding

1300–50; Middle English skaf(f)aldyng; see scaffold, -ing1


[skaf-uh ld, -ohld]


a temporary structure for holding workers and materials during the erection, repair, or decoration of a building.
an elevated platform on which a criminal is executed, usually by hanging.
a raised platform or stage for exhibiting spectacles, seating spectators, etc.
any raised framework.
a suspended platform that is used by painters, window washers, and others for working on a tall structure, as a skyscraper.
Metallurgy. any piling or fusion of materials in a blast furnace, obstructing the flow of gases and preventing the uniform descent of the charge.
a system of raised frameworks; scaffolding.

verb (used with object)

to furnish with a scaffold or scaffolding.
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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for scaffolding

scaffold, arena, set, frame, platform, setting, dais

Examples from the Web for scaffolding

Contemporary Examples of scaffolding

Historical Examples of scaffolding

  • But it is only being built, and there is nothing but scaffolding there yet.

    My Double Life

    Sarah Bernhardt

  • The intellect itself is but the scaffolding for the uprearing of the spiritual nature.

    A Dish Of Orts

    George MacDonald

  • High on his scaffolding raised, Pordenone wrought at his frescos.


    William D. Howells

  • He had a scaffolding erected for this purpose in the cathedral.

    The Phantom World

    Augustin Calmet

  • I am told that the scaffolding is already up in St. James' Square.

    Is He Popenjoy?

    Anthony Trollope

British Dictionary definitions for scaffolding



a scaffold or system of scaffolds
the building materials used to make scaffolds



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
a raised wooden platform on which plays are performed, tobacco, etc, is dried, or (esp formerly) criminals are executed

verb (tr)

to provide with a scaffold
to support by means of a scaffold
Derived Formsscaffolder, noun

Word Origin for scaffold

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 scaffolding

"temporary support," mid-14c.; see scaffold.



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