sliding scale

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noun

a variable scale, especially of industrial costs, as wages, that may be adapted to changes in demand.
a wage scale varying with the selling price of goods produced, the cost of living, or profits.
a price scale, as of medical fees, in which prices vary according to the ability of individuals to pay.
a tariff scale varying according to changing prices.

Origin of sliding scale

First recorded in 1700–10
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for sliding scale

British Dictionary definitions for sliding scale

sliding scale

noun

a variable scale according to which specified wages, tariffs, prices, etc, fluctuate in response to changes in some other factor, standard, or conditions

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

Culture definitions for sliding scale

sliding scale

A set of rates that change according to a mathematical formula. The income tax, for example, is levied on a sliding scale, with the rich paying a higher percentage than the poor.


The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.