- John Thomas,1901–70, U.S. high-school teacher whose teaching of the Darwinian theory of evolution became a cause célèbre (Scopes Trial or Monkey Trial) in 1925.
- extent or range of view, outlook, application, operation, effectiveness, etc.: an investigation of wide scope.
- space for movement or activity; opportunity for operation: to give one's fancy full scope.
- extent in space; a tract or area.
- length: a scope of cable.
- aim or purpose.
- 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.
- (used as a short form of microscope, oscilloscope, periscope, radarscope, riflescope, telescopic sight, etc.)
- Slang. to look at, read, or investigate, as in order to evaluate or appreciate.
- 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
SynonymsSee more synonyms for scope on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for scopes
In July 1925, the town hosted the Scopes Monkey Trial, a landmark case in the history of creationism.
The Scopes Trial was a formative moment for modern creationism.
So the results of the Scopes primary are in, and they are, in a way, not surprising.Michael Tomasky: Romney Barely Hanging On After Alabama and Mississippi
March 14, 2012
As everyone knows, Scopes lost the case in 1926 and the prohibition against teaching evolution remained in force.
The Scopes law was explicitly aimed at what children could be taught.
Our 'scopes on the Cometara had not been able to locate the projectile.Wandl the Invader
Raymond King Cummings
Did you ever sell any of these particular rifles with scopes and mounts?
Were these scopes and mounts purchased from the same source as the rifle itself?
But it was less the scopes of the films which made Carmen animate than it was the virile woman who played her.I, Mary MacLane
The statement does not claim to be scientific; I mean that there were no 'meters or 'scopes of any kind used.Wild Life Near Home
Dallas Lore Sharp
- opportunity for exercising the faculties or abilities; capacity for actionplenty of scope for improvement
- range of view, perception, or grasp; outlook
- the area covered by an activity, topic, etc; rangethe scope of his thesis was vast
- nautical slack left in an anchor cable
- logic linguistics that part of an expression that is governed by a given operator: the scope of the negation in PV– (q ∧ r) is –(q ∧ r)
- informal short for telescope, microscope, oscilloscope
- archaic purpose or aim
- informal to look at or examine carefully
Word Origin and History for scopes
"extent," 1530s, "room to act," from Italian scopo "aim, purpose, object, thing aimed at, mark, target," from Latin scopus, from Greek skopos "aim, target, watcher," from PIE *spek- "to observe" (cf. Sanskrit spasati "sees;" Avestan spasyeiti "spies;" Greek skopein "behold, look, consider," skeptesthai "to look at;" Latin specere "to look at;" Old High German spehhon "to spy," German spähen "to spy"). Sense of "distance the mind can reach, extent of view" first recorded c.1600.
"instrument for viewing," 1872, abstracted from telescope, microscope, etc., from Greek skopein "to look" (see scope (n.1)). Earlier used as a shortening of horoscope (c.1600).
"to view," 1807, from the source of scope (n.2). Related: Scoped; scoping.