[skey-luh-buh l]

Origin of scalable

First recorded in 1570–80; scale3 + -able
Related formsscal·a·ble·ness, nounscal·a·bly, adverbun·scal·a·ble, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for unscalable

Contemporary Examples of unscalable

Historical Examples of unscalable

  • It appears completely detached from the east wall, aloof and unscalable.

  • It was for a long time supposed to be unscalable from the north side.

    The Columbia River

    William Denison Lyman

  • They are a boundary, a dividing line, a wall impregnable and unscalable.

    The Night-Born

    Jack London

  • She felt shut in from the world, lost in an unscalable rut of the earth.

  • The bridge was four miles above, but unscalable walls made it impossible for him to reach that.

    I Married a Ranger

    Dama Margaret Smith

British Dictionary definitions for unscalable


  1. capable of being scaled or climbed
  2. computing (of a network) able to be expanded to cope with increased use
Derived Formsscalableness, nounscalably, adverb
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 unscalable



1570s, "able to be climbed;" see scale (v.1) + -able. From 1936 as "able to be graded by scale." Related: Scalably; scalability.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper