Definition of scalene in English:



  • (of a triangle) having sides unequal in length.

    • ‘The most interesting results show, with a very ingenious proof, that an equilateral triangle has a greater area than any isosceles or scalene triangle with the same perimeter.’
    • ‘The dialogue elaborates an account of the world wherein the four different basic kinds of matter - earth, air, fire, and water - are regular solids composed from plane figures: isosceles and scalene right-angled triangles.’


  • 1Anatomy

    another term for scalenus
    • ‘Typically the anterior scalene arises from the fourth, fifth and sixth cervical vertebrae (anterior tubercles), occasionally from the third, and rarely from the seventh.’
    • ‘Single motor unit activity in the diaphragm and scalenes was recorded with monopolar electrodes, using methods reported previously.’
    • ‘It may perforate the middle and posterior scalene muscles; these two muscles usually form a common mass.’
    • ‘However, in both the diaphragm and scalenes, the reduction in firing rate was most apparent in patients with high firing rates before surgery.’
    • ‘The fifth cervical nerve may pass in front of or through the anterior scalene muscle.’
  • 2A scalene triangle.


Mid 17th century: via late Latin from Greek skalēnos ‘unequal’; related to skolios ‘bent’.