- 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. 2018
Examples from the Web for sliding scale
For let not the reader forget, that on the system of a sliding-scale, this action cannot be otherwise than moderate.
The sliding-scale of expenditure always went up and down to suit the times.
It was the precise object of the sliding-scale to admit grain, in periods of scarcity, free of all duty.
Men and brothers, on your Sliding-scale you seem sliding, and to have slid,—you little know whither!Past and Present
The sliding-scale (vernier) divides the tenths into ten parts each, or hundredths of an inch.Barometer and Weather Guide
- a variable scale according to which specified wages, tariffs, prices, etc, fluctuate in response to changes in some other factor, standard, or conditions
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.