Definition of scope in English:



mass noun
  • 1The extent of the area or subject matter that something deals with or to which it is relevant.

    ‘we widened the scope of our investigation’
    ‘such questions go beyond the scope of this book’
    • ‘The sheer scope of the work can only be fully appreciated from the air.’
    • ‘What was the intended geographic scope of the disclosure and production ordered?’
    • ‘However, for reasons outside the scope of this article, she did not.’
    • ‘I am realistic enough to know that at times expanding the scope of a project is completely necessary, though.’
    • ‘Some degree of cross-training inevitably develops, broadening the scope of the professional practice of all participants.’
    • ‘We have limited the scope of the article in several key areas.’
    • ‘The second way to limit the scope of the duty of care is to appeal to arguments of public policy.’
    • ‘No collateral considerations arise which would limit the scope of its duty.’
    • ‘The classic brand management system usually limited its scope to the relevant market in a single country.’
    • ‘The content is specific to areas within the scope of an executive's responsibilities.’
    • ‘A third limitation is the study's limited geographical scope.’
    • ‘Yet within the wider scope of the project there is thematic collaboration.’
    • ‘Secondly the panel's procedure does not fall within the scope of article 6.’
    • ‘However, some practitioners struggle to narrow their broad scope of knowledge and expertise into a focused, publishable topic.’
    • ‘Articles of any length may be submitted, although short notes of limited scope are discouraged.’
    • ‘In 1912, the research scope was broadened to include noninfectious diseases.’
    • ‘The result is that most people don't really understand the broad scope of nursing practice.’
    • ‘And while it matches their first effort in scope and subject matter, the documentaries leave a little something to be desired this time around.’
    • ‘The work under review represents extends his previous scholarly endeavour by widening his geographical scope to include all of Europe.’
    • ‘We widened the scope of the paper to include quotes from activists.’
    extent, range, breadth, width, reach, sweep, purview, span, stretch, spread, horizon
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  • 2The opportunity or possibility to do or deal with something.

    ‘the scope for major change is always limited by political realities’
    • ‘First, the techniques of self-help may create scope for opportunism on the part of secured as against unsecured creditors.’
    • ‘They say there is little scope for expansion of existing roads.’
    • ‘Since a significant element of judgment is involved there will usually be scope for a fairly broad range of possible views, none of which can be categorised as unreasonable.’
    • ‘Despite stringent laws there is ample scope for improvement as there are a number of loopholes in the existing set-up.’
    • ‘Its possible field of application as well as its scope for design is unlimited.’
    • ‘It became, as a direct consequence, a field where limited opportunities gave plenty of scope for those who were established to exploit those who were eager aspirants.’
    • ‘The more differentiated modern societies become, the greater becomes the possible scope for expressively staging social life.’
    • ‘He is of a strong view that with rich cattle wealth India had a wide scope for development.’
    • ‘There is in fact a great deal of scope for students to study the whole range of characters and their relationships.’
    • ‘This then has led to the second stage of the debate, in which the question becomes: what is the possible scope for multiculturalism within liberal theory?’
    • ‘It was these groups that gave an individual his or her identity and set the general scope for life opportunities.’
    • ‘Grant-in-aid schemes offer little scope for rapid growth particularly when the government is as cash strapped as it is.’
    • ‘The low level of basic social insurance gives great scope for the development of the business version.’
    • ‘However, there is limited scope for growth.’
    • ‘Policies must include scope for building capacity at the local level to deal with these new conditions.’
    • ‘Currently there is parking available for about twenty cars and ample scope for expansion.’
    • ‘The town site afforded little scope for later suburban expansion, which would be oriented away from the sea.’
    • ‘For this reason the broadest possible geographical scope for the law of international watercourses is to be preferred.’
    • ‘A good system will allow a great deal of scope for the editor to tailor the effect to their specific needs and personal taste.’
    • ‘But utilization in the field of Civil Engineering extends ample scope for consuming bulk volume efficiently and economically.’
    opportunity, freedom, latitude, leeway, capacity, liberty, room, room to manoeuvre, elbow room, play
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1archaic A purpose, end, or intention.
      ‘Plato even maintains religion to be the chief aim and scope of human life’
  • 3informal A telescope, microscope, or other device having a name ending in -scope.

    ‘infrared night scopes’
    • ‘Adapters to fit a variety of scopes are available and fix the camera lens and scope eyepiece within millimetres of each other keeping vignetting to a minimum.’
    • ‘When examined under a dissecting scope, hermaphrodites fed Cry5B toxin for 2-3 days develop decrepit internal morphology, have pale coloration, and move slowly.’
    • ‘The presence of a minimum of two big spotting scopes is usually the key field mark.’
    • ‘The improvements in display technology in digital scopes have been so significant that Agilent claims its new display is a match for any analogue one.’
    • ‘Stationary and mobile monitoring of the scope required would generate so much sensor data that it could only be done if artificially intelligent computers were doing the work.’
    • ‘The X-ray scope used to identify individual prey inside snakes also produced an image of the outline of a skink that indicated the presence or absence of a tail.’
    • ‘Your source for a full line of binoculars and spotting scopes from all major manufacturers.’
    • ‘If you do not own a scope, keep your eyes open for someone who does, who most likely will be glad to share a view with you.’
    • ‘The elation in the air was probably palpable as birders trained their scopes and cameras on the accidental tourist for a once-in-a-lifetime view.’
    • ‘A real-time scope offers the advantage of capturing and measuring transient phenomena like an occasional glitch in a fast clock.’
    • ‘I remember going over to the local junior college in high school and looking through their 18-in. scope to see Saturn, complete with its tiny little rings.’
    • ‘Two observers inspected the colony from the adjoining shoreline using spotting scopes on 23 June and counted about 60 adult and sub-adult birds.’
    • ‘Fossils were measured under a dissecting scope using a calibrated ocular micrometer.’
    • ‘The result of all these developments is that, finally, the digital scope could make its analogue cousin obsolete.’
    • ‘F 1 progeny were scored under a dissecting scope for suppression or enhancement of the KDN rough eye phenotype.’
    • ‘Carrion Crow nests are conspicuous and we were able to observe birds delivering food to nestlings using spotting scopes.’
    • ‘Images of individual skeletal elements were captured with a digital camera mounted on a dissecting scope.’
    • ‘Our sole regret is that we did not have a spotting scope.’
    • ‘Our intention was to sample only a subset of the most common species that can be reliably counted and identified in the field without a dissecting scope.’
    • ‘Marked birds were resighted, using sporting scopes, during 1-4 h scanning surveys of Western Sandpiper flocks made on high-low spring tides throughout each season.’
  • 4Nautical
    The length of cable extended when a ship rides at anchor.

  • 5Logic Linguistics
    The number of terms or arguments affected by an operator such as a quantifier or conjunction.

    • ‘An operator (like always) within a relative clause does not like to take wider scope than operators outside the relative.’
    • ‘The distinction here can be seen as a distinction of scope for the existential quantifier.’
    • ‘The claim is that the ambiguity can be resolved entirely in terms of syntactic scope.’
    • ‘The claim, of course, was that referential uses of a description are a function of pragmatics, not quantifier scope.’
    • ‘I believe that this is the connection between can and must - with interchanging scope of negation - that she has in mind.’


[with object]
  • 1scope something outAssess or investigate something.

    ‘they'd scoped out their market’
    1. 1.1 Set the scope of (a projected undertaking)
      ‘it is important that a project is scoped correctly to ensure the budget can be accurately defined’
      • ‘"You can end up having to scope your project differently."’
      • ‘A real-life example shows the difficulty of the task faced by planners and traffic engineers when trying to scope the effects of planned traffic changes.’
      • ‘Like methods, properties are scoped to their enclosing interface declaration.’
      • ‘A ' Futures Team ' is being set up whose purpose is to scope out future innovations for the West Midlands.’
      • ‘The Plymouth Operational Group have had several meetings in which it is scoping the details of opening a Community Justice Court (CJC).’
      • ‘By highlighting both strengths and deficiencies in current measurement, simulation and algorithm capabilities, the problem can be scoped and key development needs addressed.’
      • ‘Many models of health impact assessment exist, but they all encompass a series of similar steps screening, scoping, impact assessment, policy modification, and, in some cases, evaluation.’
      • ‘The review process included a series of workshops to scope the safety and technical issues associated with waste and decommissioning.’
      • ‘At least there was plenty of empty ground on which to scope out a hurried new design.’
      • ‘My officials are constantly scoping out costs to local authorities.’
      • ‘This initial analysis will help you to scope the time and costs involved in advance.’
  • 2North American informal Look at carefully; scan.

    ‘they watched him scoping the room, looking for Michael’
    • ‘Slattery stiffened, was immediately scoping the area.’
    • ‘They offer online tools for creating business plans, finding venture capital, and scoping out the competition.’
    • ‘Let alone getting 250 grand a year to play a bit of footy, in between scoping the scene at Burleigh Heads.’
    • ‘We were late, and he was scoping the room for an empty table.’
    • ‘Grigory was three miles due west of Natalya's position, scoping out the scene.’
    • ‘The principal of a traditional public school is not charged with coaxing capital funds out of voters, scoping out real estate, or overseeing construction.’
    • ‘Then a couple of white guys, hunched over, scoping out the street, looking to score.’
    • ‘Having scoped out the space I'm decorating, I now think that I may need around, or above, 700 daisies.’
    • ‘Apparently they would pull national parks out of a hat and then go scope them out, pretty cool idea really.’
    • ‘According to Bradfield, the center is still scoping out the types of collaborative efforts it might pursue.’
    • ‘She was fast asleep like a buzzard that had been scoping out prey all day long in a field.’
    • ‘I liked to scope the situation out and then make my own team.’
    • ‘Most of those in the off-stage audience were handed invitations by scouters who scoped the city for folks with " the look ".’
    • ‘Both of us laugh as we go to scope out the perfect place.’
    • ‘I looked over at Jane who was chewing on her straw and scoping the guys in the bar.’
    • ‘I opened the medicine cabinet and grabbed a pair of scissors for protection, and then scoped out the hallway.’
    • ‘Detectives are currently "scoping" the allegations to determine whether a full-scale investigation should be launched.’
    • ‘Last weekend, we went to the Turners Car Auction to scope it out.’
    • ‘The old ones who you see on street corners scoping out the little girls that walk by.’
    • ‘Boat crews toured the St. John's River, memorizing landmarks and scoping out the planned security zones.’


Mid 16th century (in the sense ‘target for shooting at’): from Italian scopo ‘aim’, from Greek skopos ‘target’, from skeptesthai ‘look out’. scope (sense 3 of the noun) is derived from -scope.