• synonyms


[ skey-leen ]
/ skeɪˈlin /


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

Nearby words

scale-pan, scaleback, scaleboard, scaled, scaledown, scalene, scalene muscle, scalenectomy, scalenohedron, scalenotomy, scalenus

Origin of scalene

1635–45; < Late Latin scalēnus < Greek skalēnós unequal Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for scalene

British Dictionary definitions for scalene


/ (ˈskeɪliːn) /


maths (of a triangle) having all sides of unequal length
anatomy of or relating to any of the scalenus muscles

Word Origin for scalene

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)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Science definitions for scalene


[ skālēn′ ]

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