[ skohp ]
See synonyms for: scopescopedscopesscoping on

  1. extent or range of view, outlook, application, operation, effectiveness, etc.: an investigation of wide scope.

  2. space for movement or activity; opportunity for operation: to give one's fancy full scope.

  1. extent in space; a tract or area.

  2. length: a scope of cable.

  3. aim or purpose.

  4. Linguistics, Logic. the range of words or elements of an expression over which a modifier or operator has control: In “old men and women,” “old” may either take “men and women” or just “men” in its scope.

  5. (used as a short form of microscope, oscilloscope, periscope, radarscope, riflescope, telescopic sight, etc.)

verb (used with object),scoped, scop·ing.
  1. Slang. to look at, read, or investigate, as in order to evaluate or appreciate.

Verb Phrases
  1. scope out, Slang.

    • to look at or over; examine; check out: a rock musician scoping out the audience before going on stage.

    • to master; figure out: By the time we'd scoped out the problem, it was too late.

Origin of scope

First recorded in 1525–35; from Italian scopo, from Greek skopós “aim, mark to shoot at”; akin to skopeîn “to look at” (see -scope)

synonym study For scope

1. See range.

Other words for scope

Other words from scope

  • scopeless, adjective

Words Nearby scope

Other definitions for -scope (2 of 2)


  1. a combining form meaning “instrument for viewing,” used in the formation of compound words: telescope.

Origin of -scope

<New Latin -scopium<Greek -skopion, -skopeion, equivalent to skop(eîn) to look at (akin to sképtesthai to look, view carefully; cf. skeptic) + -ion, -eion noun suffix Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use scope in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for scope (1 of 2)


/ (skəʊp) /

  1. opportunity for exercising the faculties or abilities; capacity for action: plenty of scope for improvement

  2. range of view, perception, or grasp; outlook

  1. the area covered by an activity, topic, etc; range: the scope of his thesis was vast

  2. nautical slack left in an anchor cable

  3. logic linguistics that part of an expression that is governed by a given operator: the scope of the negation in PV– (qr) is –(qr)

  4. informal short for telescope, microscope, oscilloscope

  5. archaic purpose or aim

  1. informal to look at or examine carefully

Origin of scope

C16: from Italian scopo goal, from Latin scopus, from Greek skopos target; related to Greek skopein to watch

British Dictionary definitions for -scope (2 of 2)


n combining form
  1. indicating an instrument for observing, viewing, or detecting: microscope; stethoscope

Origin of -scope

from New Latin -scopium, from Greek -skopion, from skopein to look at

Derived forms of -scope

  • -scopic, adj combining form

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