• synonyms


  1. Geometry.
    1. (of a cone or the like) having the axis inclined to the base.
    2. (of a triangle) having three unequal sides.
  2. Anatomy. of or relating to a scalenus muscle.
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Origin of scalene

1635–45; < Late Latin scalēnus < Greek skalēnós unequal
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Historical Examples

British Dictionary definitions for scalene


  1. maths (of a triangle) having all sides of unequal length
  2. anatomy of or relating to any of the scalenus muscles
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Word Origin

C17: from Late Latin scalēnus with unequal sides, from Greek skalēnos
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 scalene


"having unequal sides," 1680s, from Late Latin scalenus, from Greek skalenos "uneven, unequal, odd (numbered)," as a noun, "triangle with unequal sides," from skallein "chop, hoe," from PIE *(s)kel- (1) "to cut" (see scale (n.1)).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

scalene in Science


  1. Having three unequal sides, as a triangle that is neither equilateral nor isosceles.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.