[ skant-ling ]
See synonyms for scantling on
  1. a timber of relatively slight width and thickness, as a stud or rafter in a house frame.

  2. such timbers collectively.

  1. the width and thickness of a timber.

  2. the dimensions of a building stone.

  3. Nautical.

    • a dressed timber or rolled metal member used as a framing member in a vessel.

    • the dimension, in cross section, of a framing member.

  4. a small quantity or amount.

Origin of scantling

1520–30; scant + -ling1; replacing Middle English scantilon<Old French escantillon gauge

Words Nearby scantling Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use scantling in a sentence

  • It lay, tongued and grooved, with the scantling for fixing it, just where the timber merchant's men had deposited it—on the floor.

    Mushroom Town | Oliver Onions
  • Mayo saw that it was a long strip of scantling, undoubtedly from the deckload that the Polly had jettisoned when she was tripped.

    Blow The Man Down | Holman Day
  • Mr. Speed boosted Mayo and the young man attached the cloth to the scantling and flung their banner to the breeze.

    Blow The Man Down | Holman Day
  • I saw the slates at the foot of the weathercock, that they were thinly edged and of light scantling.

    The Adventures of Harry Revel | Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch
  • I found a hiding place in a pile of boards or scantling, where I kept concealed during that day.

British Dictionary definitions for scantling


/ (ˈskæntlɪŋ) /

  1. a piece of sawn timber, such as a rafter, that has a small cross section

  2. the dimensions of a piece of building material or the structural parts of a ship, esp those in cross section

  1. a building stone, esp one that is more than 6 feet in length

  2. a small quantity or amount

Origin of scantling

C16: changed (through influence of scant and -ling 1) from earlier scantillon, a carpenter's gauge, from Old Norman French escantillon, ultimately from Latin scandere to climb; see scan

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