scale

1
[ skeyl ]
/ skeɪl /

noun

verb (used with object), scaled, scal·ing.

verb (used without object), scaled, scal·ing.

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Origin of scale

1
First recorded in 1250–1300; Middle English (noun) scale, scalle, from Middle French escale, from West Germanic skāla; verb derivative of the noun; akin to scale2

OTHER WORDS FROM scale

scaleless, adjectivescalelike, adjective

Definition for scale (2 of 3)

scale2
[ skeyl ]
/ skeɪl /

noun

Often scales. a balance or any of various other instruments or devices for weighing: We gave the parents a baby scale. The butcher placed the meat on the scales.
Also called scalepan. either of the pans or dishes of a balance.
Scales, Astronomy, Astrology. the constellation or sign of Libra; Balance.

verb (used with object), scaled, scal·ing.

to weigh in or as if in scales.
to have a weight of.

Origin of scale

2
First recorded in 1175–1225; Middle English -scale, -schal, from Old Norse skālar (plural), cognate with Old English scealu “scale (of a balance)”

Definition for scale (3 of 3)

scale3
[ skeyl ]
/ skeɪl /

noun

verb (used with object), scaled, scal·ing.

verb (used without object), scaled, scal·ing.

to climb; ascend; mount.
to progress in a graduated series.

Origin of scale

3
First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English noun scale, skale, “ladder, rung of a ladder,” from Latin scālae “ladder, stairs”; verb derivative of the noun

synonym study for scale

17. See climb.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for scale

British Dictionary definitions for scale (1 of 3)

scale1
/ (skeɪl) /

noun

verb

Derived forms of scale

scalelike, adjective

Word Origin for scale

C14: from Old French escale, of Germanic origin; compare Old English scealu shell

British Dictionary definitions for scale (2 of 3)

scale2
/ (skeɪl) /

noun

(often plural) a machine or device for weighing
one of the pans of a balance
tip the scales
  1. to exercise a decisive influence
  2. (foll by at) to amount in weight (to)

verb (tr)

to weigh with or as if with scales
to have a weight of

Word Origin for scale

C13: from Old Norse skāl bowl, related to Old High German scāla cup, Old English scealu shell, scale 1

British Dictionary definitions for scale (3 of 3)

scale3
/ (skeɪl) /

noun

verb

See also scale back

Word Origin for scale

C15: via Italian from Latin scāla ladder; related to Old French eschiele, Spanish escala
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

Medical definitions for scale (1 of 3)

scale 11
[ skāl ]

n.

A dry, thin flake of epidermis shed from the skin.
One of the many small, platelike dermal or epidermal structures that characteristically form the external covering of fishes, reptiles, and certain mammals.

v.

To come off in scales or layers; flake.
To become encrusted.
To remove tartar from tooth surfaces with a pointed instrument.

Medical definitions for scale (2 of 3)

scale 22
[ skāl ]

n.

A system of ordered marks at fixed intervals used as a reference standard in measurement.
An instrument or device bearing such marks.
A proportion used in determining the dimensional relationship of a representation to that which it represents.
A standard of measurement or judgment; a criterion.

Medical definitions for scale (3 of 3)

scale 33
[ skāl ]

n.

An instrument or a machine for weighing.
Either of the pans, trays, or dishes of a balance.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Scientific definitions for scale (1 of 2)

scale1
[ skāl ]

One of the small thin plates forming the outer covering of fish, reptiles, and certain other animals.
A similar part, such as one of the minute structures overlapping to form the covering on the wings of butterflies and moths.
A small, thin, usually dry plant part, such as one of the protective leaves that cover a tree bud or one of the structures that contain the reproductive organs on the cones of a conifer.
A plant disease caused by scale insects.

Scientific definitions for scale (2 of 2)

scale2
[ skāl ]

An ordered system of numbering or indexing that is used as a reference standard in measurement, in which each number corresponds to some physical quantity. Some scales, such as temperature scales, have equal intervals; other scales, such as the Richter scale, are arranged as a geometric progression.
An instrument or a machine for weighing.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Cultural definitions for scale (1 of 2)

scale

In music, the sequence of tones that a piece of music principally uses. A composition in the key of C-major uses the C-major scale, made up of the white keys on a piano.

Cultural definitions for scale (2 of 2)

scale

A system of marks set at fixed intervals, used as a standard for measurement.

notes for scale

On a map, plan, or chart, a scale indicates the proportion between the representation and what it represents, such as the legend “One inch equals twenty miles” on a map.

notes for scale

Temperature scales divide up the range of temperatures into equal degrees.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with scale

scale

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.