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See more synonyms for scantling on Thesaurus.com
  1. a timber of relatively slight width and thickness, as a stud or rafter in a house frame.
  2. such timbers collectively.
  3. the width and thickness of a timber.
  4. the dimensions of a building stone.
  5. Nautical.
    1. a dressed timber or rolled metal member used as a framing member in a vessel.
    2. the dimension, in cross section, of a framing member.
  6. a small quantity or amount.
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Origin of scantling

1520–30; scant + -ling1; replacing Middle English scantilon < Old French escantillon gauge
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for scantlings

girder, scaffolding, joist, shaft, pillar, pole, plank, timber, sill, strip, bail, bolster, stanchion, prop, trestle, pile, boom, stud, spar

Examples from the Web for scantlings

Historical Examples of scantlings

  • There was only the churned water, filled with scantlings and torn branches of trees.

    The Long Roll

    Mary Johnston

  • Let no one laugh at the character of many of these 'Scantlings.'

  • It will send up the price of scantlings, and we was getting on too fast with them.


    R. D. Blackmore

  • The sides of it are scantlings and the steps are narrow boards.

  • The house, which he owns, is a small shack or shanty constructed of scantlings and slabs.

British Dictionary definitions for scantlings


pl n
  1. the structural casings of the internal gas paths in an aeroengine
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  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
  3. a building stone, esp one that is more than 6 feet in length
  4. a small quantity or amount
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Word Origin for 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

Word Origin and History for scantlings



1520s, "measured or prescribed size," altered from scantlon, scantiloun "dimension" (c.1400), earlier a type of mason's tool for measuring thickness (c.1300), a shortening of Old French escantillon (Modern French échantillon "sample pattern"), of uncertain origin; perhaps ultimately from Latin scandere "to climb" (see scan (v.)). Sense influenced by scant. Meaning "small wooden beam" is 1660s. Related: Scantlings.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper