Definition of scope in English:



  • 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’
    • ‘In 1912, the research scope was broadened to include noninfectious diseases.’
    • ‘The classic brand management system usually limited its scope to the relevant market in a single country.’
    • ‘What was the intended geographic scope of the disclosure and production ordered?’
    • ‘The result is that most people don't really understand the broad scope of nursing practice.’
    • ‘We widened the scope of the paper to include quotes from activists.’
    • ‘However, some practitioners struggle to narrow their broad scope of knowledge and expertise into a focused, publishable topic.’
    • ‘And while it matches their first effort in scope and subject matter, the documentaries leave a little something to be desired this time around.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Yet within the wider scope of the project there is thematic collaboration.’
    • ‘No collateral considerations arise which would limit the scope of its duty.’
    • ‘The content is specific to areas within the scope of an executive's responsibilities.’
    • ‘The work under review represents extends his previous scholarly endeavour by widening his geographical scope to include all of Europe.’
    • ‘I am realistic enough to know that at times expanding the scope of a project is completely necessary, though.’
    • ‘However, for reasons outside the scope of this article, she did not.’
    • ‘Secondly the panel's procedure does not fall within the scope of article 6.’
    • ‘A third limitation is the study's limited geographical scope.’
    • ‘Articles of any length may be submitted, although short notes of limited scope are discouraged.’
    • ‘The sheer scope of the work can only be fully appreciated from the air.’
    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’
    • ‘For this reason the broadest possible geographical scope for the law of international watercourses is to be preferred.’
    • ‘The more differentiated modern societies become, the greater becomes the possible scope for expressively staging social life.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Grant-in-aid schemes offer little scope for rapid growth particularly when the government is as cash strapped as it is.’
    • ‘However, there is limited scope for growth.’
    • ‘It was these groups that gave an individual his or her identity and set the general scope for life opportunities.’
    • ‘Policies must include scope for building capacity at the local level to deal with these new conditions.’
    • ‘First, the techniques of self-help may create scope for opportunism on the part of secured as against unsecured creditors.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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?’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘There is in fact a great deal of scope for students to study the whole range of characters and their relationships.’
    • ‘But utilization in the field of Civil Engineering extends ample scope for consuming bulk volume efficiently and economically.’
    • ‘He is of a strong view that with rich cattle wealth India had a wide scope for development.’
    • ‘They say there is little scope for expansion of existing roads.’
    • ‘A good system will allow a great deal of scope for the editor to tailor the effect to their specific needs and personal taste.’
    • ‘The town site afforded little scope for later suburban expansion, which would be oriented away from the sea.’
    • ‘Currently there is parking available for about twenty cars and ample scope for expansion.’
    • ‘The low level of basic social insurance gives great scope for the development of the business version.’
    opportunity, freedom, latitude, leeway, capacity, liberty, room, room to manoeuvre, elbow room, play
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    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’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Two observers inspected the colony from the adjoining shoreline using spotting scopes on 23 June and counted about 60 adult and sub-adult birds.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Carrion Crow nests are conspicuous and we were able to observe birds delivering food to nestlings using spotting scopes.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Fossils were measured under a dissecting scope using a calibrated ocular micrometer.’
    • ‘The presence of a minimum of two big spotting scopes is usually the key field mark.’
    • ‘When examined under a dissecting scope, hermaphrodites fed Cry5B toxin for 2-3 days develop decrepit internal morphology, have pale coloration, and move slowly.’
    • ‘Your source for a full line of binoculars and spotting scopes from all major manufacturers.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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 result of all these developments is that, finally, the digital scope could make its analogue cousin obsolete.’
    • ‘A real-time scope offers the advantage of capturing and measuring transient phenomena like an occasional glitch in a fast clock.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Our sole regret is that we did not have a spotting scope.’
    • ‘F 1 progeny were scored under a dissecting scope for suppression or enhancement of the KDN rough eye phenotype.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Images of individual skeletal elements were captured with a digital camera mounted on 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.’
    • ‘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.’
  • 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.’
    • ‘I believe that this is the connection between can and must - with interchanging scope of negation - that she has in mind.’
    • ‘The distinction here can be seen as a distinction of scope for the existential quantifier.’
    • ‘The claim, of course, was that referential uses of a description are a function of pragmatics, not quantifier scope.’
    • ‘The claim is that the ambiguity can be resolved entirely in terms of syntactic scope.’


  • 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’
      • ‘Like methods, properties are scoped to their enclosing interface declaration.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘My officials are constantly scoping out costs to local authorities.’
      • ‘"You can end up having to scope your project differently."’
      • ‘By highlighting both strengths and deficiencies in current measurement, simulation and algorithm capabilities, the problem can be scoped and key development needs addressed.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The Plymouth Operational Group have had several meetings in which it is scoping the details of opening a Community Justice Court (CJC).’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘This initial analysis will help you to scope the time and costs involved in advance.’
      • ‘A ' Futures Team ' is being set up whose purpose is to scope out future innovations for the West Midlands.’
  • 2North American informal Look at carefully; scan:

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


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