Main definitions of scale in English

: scale1scale2scale3

scale1

noun

  • 1Each of the small, thin horny or bony plates protecting the skin of fish and reptiles, typically overlapping one another.

    • ‘One wall is taken up with an elaborately tooled wine display, and another is covered in an intricately curving leather design, like reptile scales.’
    • ‘I eat everything I can of the fish, scales, bones, blood, organs, and eyes.’
    • ‘Even fish are transformed from a mass of scales, bones, eyes and heads into a neat, inoffensive and anonymous fillet.’
    • ‘This protective shaft is made up of tiny cells that overlap each other, much the way fish scales do.’
    • ‘It's skin - he saw - was covered in a thin sheen of some translucent substance that glimmered tiny fish scales or mildew when it moved.’
    • ‘Brackish spray flew over his face as fins and scales and gnashing teeth tore at the air.’
    • ‘The sheer amount of them created the illusion that the chamber walls were frilly like the skin of a reptile with disjointed scales.’
    • ‘Even very small, fragile bones and fish scales are preserved in the deposits.’
    • ‘It attaches to fish with its mouth, rasps through scales and skin with its tongue, and feeds on the body fluids of the host fish, often killing it.’
    • ‘Egg masses consist of 25 to 50 whitish eggs laid overlapping each other like fish scales.’
    • ‘No one is quite sure how these cells differentiate to form structures as diverse as the elastic outer layer of skin, the stiff scales of fish, or the softness of feathers.’
    • ‘Check the fish for any stray scales and loose bones.’
    • ‘The outside surface of the fiber consists of a series of serrated scales which overlap each other much like the scales of a fish.’
    • ‘Fish bones and scales and cat skulls have also been found.’
    • ‘The figures cover the beach, their variously colored hair, bikinis and accessories overlapping like hundreds of rainbow fish scales.’
    • ‘The ray-finned fishes would seem a little more familiar than the placoderms, having scales instead of armor plates, with a look of the moray eel to them.’
    • ‘It was small in the palm of his hand, and was the spitting image of a fish, with miniature scales and fins.’
    • ‘My job was to crouch down under these machines with the sweating women working up there, the fish guts and scales raining down on me.’
    • ‘The roof-tiles are overlapped like the scales of a snake about to shed its skin.’
    • ‘Use your hands to spread the potato slices out so that they overlap like unruly fish scales, but are not more than 1 or 2 layers thick.’
  • 2A thick, dry flake of skin.

    • ‘Skin cells regularly die and flake off in scales - but in people with psoriasis this process happens within days rather than weeks.’
    • ‘This has been shown to cause dispersal of skin scales from the face, which can result in possible contamination of surgical wounds.’
    • ‘If you look at the bumps closely, you might see white scales or flakes on them.’
    • ‘Psoriatic lesions usually have thicker scales that appear silvery after rubbing and bleed on removal.’
    • ‘Using a scalpel blade, the scales are scraped at the active border of the lesion, with particular care not to cause pain or bleeding.’
    • ‘Dust mites are about 0.3 mm long, feed on human skin scales, and are found in places with dust and high levels of humidity.’
    • ‘Brushing your baby's scalp with a soft brush, like a toothbrush, can help loosen scales or flakes.’
    • ‘The fungal spores found in the pillows fed off human skins scales and dust mite faeces.’
    1. 2.1 A rudimentary leaf, feather, or bract.
      • ‘Dwarf mistletoes have no leaves at all, just bud scales - the plants look like drab twigs.’
      • ‘For instance, you can smear a homemade mixture into the opened scales of a pinecone, then hang the cone from a tree branch.’
      • ‘By next spring, tiny bulbs will have formed at the base of each scale.’
      • ‘The buds left at winter pruning begin to swell in the few weeks prior to budbreak, and budbreak itself is marked by the first signs of green in the vineyard, as the first young leaves unfold and push through the bud scales.’
    2. 2.2 Each of numerous microscopic tilelike structures covering the wings of butterflies and moths.
      • ‘Tiny scales cover the adult butterfly's wings that aid them during these critical searches.’
  • 3A flaky covering or deposit.

    • ‘Primary lesions are erythematous papules and plaques with gray/white, silvery scale.’
    • ‘If scale is extensive in the scalp, the scale may be softened with oil, gently brushed free with a baby hairbrush and then washed clear.’
    • ‘On physical examination, there were multiple flat-topped papules with white scale on her hands, wrists, and shins.’
    • ‘However, I would like to know if there is a way to rinse the honeydew from the scale and the associated black soot mold from the leaves of the magnolia?’
    • ‘Close examination reveals a reticulated pattern of white scale known as Wickham's striae.’
    • ‘These patches may have a thick silvery-white scale of dead skin on the top, and may be itchy.’
    • ‘As the scale attacks the foliage, it eliminates a clear, sticky substance called honeydew.’
    • ‘One of the characteristics of seborrheic dermatitis is dandruff, characterized by a fine, powdery white scale on the scalp.’
    • ‘Magnolia scale and bacterial leaf spot are sometimes apparent but seldom life-threatening.’
    • ‘If left untreated, the scale may become thick, yellow and greasy and, occasionally, secondary bacterial infection may occur.’
    • ‘Sometimes it presents as a white scale over a pink macule or papule.’
    • ‘The lesion is demarcated sharply and the scale often is thick.’
    1. 3.1 A white deposit formed in a kettle, boiler, etc. by the evaporation of water containing lime.
      • ‘I live in a hard water area and am concerned about the build-up of scale in the central heating system.’
      • ‘This is the white scale or platy stuff that you may see on the inside of the dishwasher or coffee pots or other hot water contact areas.’
      limescale
      View synonyms
    2. 3.2 Tartar formed on teeth.
      • ‘If plaque is not thoroughly removed, salts from the saliva cause it to become hard and form scale or dental calculus.’
    3. 3.3 A coating of oxide formed on heated metal.
      • ‘Mr Wilkinson was of the opinion that since water treatment equipment had been installed only recently, there were likely to have been corrosion and a build up of scale over the years inside the pipe work.’
      • ‘Every so often it is advisable to remove the mineral scale that builds up on the electrical heater element and in the reservoir pan.’
      • ‘Pipes can become clogged with scale that reduces water flow and ultimately requires pipe replacement.’

verb

  • 1with object Remove scale or scales from.

    ‘he scales the fish and removes the innards’
    • ‘To prevent fish from sticking to the grill, don't scale the fish.’
    • ‘Ensure that fish fillets are scaled and skinned and that there is no blood or viscera left on flesh.’
    • ‘She shrugged it off and returned to scaling the fish.’
    1. 1.1 Remove tartar from (teeth) by scraping them.
      • ‘In the 1950s we scaled and cleaned teeth mainly by hand ultrasonic scalers and efficient aspirators of particulate matter and spray had yet to appear.’
      • ‘Extrinsic tooth stains can be reduced by scaling and polishing.’
      • ‘The Yorkie has strong, terrier-type teeth, but it is well to have them scaled by a veterinarian at regular intervals.’
      • ‘Visit your dentist or hygienist to have your teeth scaled and polished on a regular basis.’
  • 2often as noun scalingno object (especially of the skin) form scales.

    ‘moisturizers can ease off drying and scaling’
    • ‘Side effects of anthralin include redness, itching and scaling.’
    • ‘Severe dry skin, accompanied by scaling, flaking and itching that no amount of moisturizing seems to relieve, could be a sign of a more serious problem.’
    • ‘It causes inflamed and sore skin, blistering and scaling.’
    • ‘I would have terrible itching and scaling on my scalp that would usually bleed and scab over.’
    • ‘Other signs include hair loss, redness, scaling and secondary infection.’
    • ‘Skin cancers, such as basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas, often affect the ear but will generally cause only localized surface change, scaling, and erosion.’
    • ‘Athlete's foot can lead to fungal nail, so be aware of any skin rashes, itching or scaling, and use an over-the-counter topical cream before the problem worsens.’
    • ‘Psoriasis of the perineal skin presents as redness with itching and scaling.’
    • ‘Lack of moisture causes an abnormal skin barrier, which induces abnormal desquamation and leads to scaling.’
    • ‘You have a rather chronic relapsing condition, which occasionally oozes and has scaling as a predominant feature, affecting primarily the extremities of the skin.’
    • ‘It is characterized by fissuring, maceration, and scaling in the interdigital spaces of the fourth and fifth toes.’
    • ‘In very young babies there's a kind of eczema called cradle cap, where there's scaling on the scalp.’
    • ‘First, the scalp is examined for evidence of erythema, scaling, or inflammation.’
    • ‘The lesions may take the form of a patch, plaque, or nodule, sometimes with scaling or an ulcerated center.’
    1. 2.1 Come off in scales or thin pieces; flake off.
      ‘the paint was scaling from the brick walls’

Origin

Middle English: shortening of Old French escale, from the Germanic base of scale.

Pronunciation

scale

/skāl//skeɪl/

Main definitions of scale in English

: scale1scale2scale3

scale2

noun

usually scales
  • 1An instrument for weighing. Scales were originally simple balances (pairs of scales) but are now usually devices with an internal weighing mechanism housed under a platform on which the thing to be weighed is placed, with a gauge or electronic display showing the weight.

    • ‘A set of cracked, broken weighing scales and a rusty tray were used for food preparation and storage.’
    • ‘Drugs squad officers have seized imitation guns, a scanner, knives, bars of cannabis, cocaine, weighing scales and smoking pipes in the past twelve months.’
    • ‘With the help of a good pair of scales, establish the point at which your weight remains constant.’
    • ‘Separation goes paradoxically together with dependence because, as is the case with a pair of scales, one character's going up requires the other's going down.’
    • ‘The building looked very much like a country courthouse, with an intricate wrought iron sign hanging over the door, a pair of scales framed by swirling designs.’
    • ‘She has refitted the inside of the shop but will be doling out the confectionery in the time-honoured way, with a set of scales and brown paper bags.’
    • ‘Inside a tiny front yard, a man with a Muslim's white cloth cap and a bicycle was holding a pair of scales on which reposed a silver fish, which ended in a neat pink ellipse where its head had been.’
    • ‘His hand scrabbled on the countertop, searching for a stick, a pair of scales, any weapon to fend off this unseen attacker.’
    • ‘And, it's rider held a pair of scales in his hand.’
    • ‘The Lord Christ is placing before us a pair of scales, and on one side of the balances is laid the whole world.’
    • ‘For years it's had the same black bass guitar in the window, surrounded by an array of hash pipes, weighing scales and stolen car radios.’
    • ‘The rest of our time will be divided between keeping the monster occupied and finishing packing, although it seems that there's very little we can do until we can get hold of a pair of scales.’
    • ‘We might imagine a scale with two balancing pans.’
    • ‘Mr Li presides over it like a lean-shaven Confucius, grinding up powders and weighing remedies on a delicate pair of scales before dispatching them to the kitchen.’
    • ‘Officers also found electronic weighing scales, cling film, food bags and a further block of cocaine hidden under some tea towels.’
    • ‘It was opposite a splendid portrait of the King holding a pair of scales and sword, presumably showing him as the source of Justice in his Kingdom.’
    • ‘There were traces of diamorphine on some scales and a bottle of methadone which had been prescribed to someone else.’
    • ‘When faced with having to make rapid estimations of weight without a pair of scales to hand - for example, before administering weight related doses of drugs - ask the patient to guess his or her own weight.’
    • ‘I weight him weekly, using a big pair of scales.’
    • ‘But I don't have a pair of scales to check and it's been so long since I did check that I wouldn't know what's a loss and what's a gain.’
    weighing machine, balance, pair of scales
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Either of the dishes on a simple balance.
      • ‘There is always going to be a little left in the tube over the scale pan and RCBS says to use the ‘trickle’ key to empty it.’
      • ‘If you're using a conventional balance beam scale, the case can still be used to transfer powder to the scale pan.’
      • ‘Lyman also has an accessory called the ‘Powder Pal’ that combines the scale pan with a powder funnel.’
      • ‘A one gramme weight is placed on the scale pan of an electronic balance and the balance is covered by a glass bell jar.’
      • ‘It is certainly possible to put some powder in a clean bowl and use a small spoon to trickle powder into the scale pan until the proper charge is reached.’
    2. 1.2the Scales The zodiacal sign or constellation Libra.

verb

  • with object Weigh a specified weight.

    ‘some men scaled less than ninety pounds’
    • ‘The elder statesman had another perch bag of 3-13 as did third-placed man Adrian Goodwin who scaled 2-4oz.’
    • ‘His mother, Norma, is from Aghabullogue, Coachford, Co Cork, and the baby scaled 8lb 6oz.’

Origin

Middle English (in the sense ‘drinking cup’, surviving in South African English): from Old Norse skál ‘bowl’, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch schaal, German Schale ‘bowl’, also to English dialect shale ‘dish’.

Pronunciation

scale

/skāl//skeɪl/

Main definitions of scale in English

: scale1scale2scale3

scale3

noun

  • 1A graduated range of values forming a standard system for measuring or grading something.

    ‘company employees have hit the top of their pay scales’
    • ‘The pay scale for other teachers coming into the Philadelphia district ranges from $32,598 to $54,538.’
    • ‘They were protesting against the attitude of the Indian Bank Association with regard to revision of pay scales.’
    • ‘As for teaching standards, we recently did well in an official Ofsted inspection (achieving grade two on a scale of 1-5).’
    • ‘After 12 months, the five patients improved by almost 40% on a standard scale measuring motor abilities.’
    • ‘Students are graded on a seven-point scale for each subject, with three further points available based on their performance across the diploma, producing a top score of 45.’
    • ‘Officers can qualify for the threshold payments if they have served for 12 months at the top of the pay scale for their rank and meet certain standards in their job.’
    • ‘The Government announces higher pay scales to encourage recruitment and bolster morale, yet doesn't mention that schools are expected to foot much of the bill.’
    • ‘We also used a modified version of a standard scale to measure level of social support.’
    • ‘Among other things, the law provides state money to offset the cost of indigent defense and requires each county to set a standardized scale for lawyers' fees.’
    • ‘Most independent schools pay teachers according to the national scales - but in some cases they pay above those scales.’
    • ‘Problems for students caused by differences in grading scales used at post-secondary education institutions around Alberta may finally have a remedy.’
    • ‘They are low on the social scale, where scales are all-important.’
    • ‘In the survey, employees were asked to rate the company across 65 questions, giving answers on a seven-point scale ranging from strongly disagree to strongly agree.’
    • ‘A further sample of marked tapes had to be submitted at a later date and at the end of the marking process each examiner was graded on an A-E scale.’
    • ‘The BMC workers draw different pay scales ranging from basic pay of Rs. 3480 to Rs. 17890.’
    • ‘It recommends a sliding scale from two to six points for each speeding offence as well as a scale of fines ranging from £40 - £100.’
    • ‘Salary scales for computer science graduates can vary widely but can start at about 24,000, rising to about 45,000 in many cases.’
    • ‘Wine captured in bottle led to a market in older wines whose reputation, based on vintage and name, created a comprehensible and measurable scale of values.’
    • ‘But now, officers at the top of their pay scale who fail to make the grade will lose ‘competency’ payments of just over £1,000 a year.’
    • ‘This is then graded on a scale of one to 100 with a standard reference food, usually glucose.’
    calibrated system, calibration, graduated system, system of measurement, measuring system, register
    hierarchy, ladder, ranking, pecking order, order, spectrum, progression, succession, sequence, series
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 The full range of different levels of people or things, from lowest to highest.
      ‘two men at opposite ends of the social scale’
      • ‘On the other hand prophecy through visions of angels is low down on the scale.’
      • ‘Results were read visually on a scale of 1 + to 4 +, with readings of > or = 2 + considered positive.’
      • ‘The Justice gave the accused in that case a credit on a scale of 0.5 to 1.’
      • ‘On a scale of one to five, where one is the most harmful, Ofsted inspections score 1.7.’
      • ‘But at the other end of the scale another friend of mine has had twice as many different partners then me.’
      • ‘California uses both an elaborate report card and a school ranking (on a scale of 1 to 10) based solely on test scores.’
      • ‘Here are the results, rated on a scale of the most famous infomercial titan, Billy Mays.’
      • ‘On a scale of 1 to 10, companies rated Microsoft's security at 7.6, double the rating in a similar survey conducted last year.’
    2. 1.2 A series of marks at regular intervals in a line used in measuring something.
      ‘the mean delivery time is plotted against a scale on the right’
      • ‘Panelists must then complete an evaluation of the samples and mark the line scale for the intensity of each attribute.’
      • ‘While the patient looked at each tool, the data collector read the words on each VAS and provided a pencil or pen for the patient to mark on the scale.’
      • ‘Have them wait 30 seconds or so, and then ask them to rate their energy level once again by marking the scale.’
      • ‘He inserted a probe into the flue pipe and said the meter went off the scale.’
      • ‘Preoperatively, patients marked the scales before any medication was given.’
    3. 1.3 A device having a series of marks at regular intervals in a line used in measuring something.
      ‘she read the exact distance off a scale’
      • ‘All of these outcomes were measured on visual analog scales with scores expressed as millimeters from to 100.’
      • ‘The device reads UPC codes, interfaces with an electronic scale and downloads the audit data into your computer.’
      • ‘Most gauging and wantage rods provide wantage measurements with direct reading scales calibrated in gallons.’
    4. 1.4 A rule determining the distances between marks on a scale.
      ‘the vertical axis is given on a logarithmic scale’
      • ‘Tape rules with diameter scales could be used to wrap around any round object that would then give the object's diameter.’
      • ‘The gain reduction meters use an exponential scale and go from to 40 dB of reduction.’
      • ‘Second, the scale marked on the rule is nonlinear and (given the technology of the time) had to be marked by hand from a master pattern.’
      • ‘Please note that the 34-year performance has a logarithmic price scale.’
      • ‘This is clear from the plots using logarithmic scales, but the curved plots with an arithmetical scale on the vertical axes may falsely suggest a threshold.’
      • ‘Igniting with unstoppable force, the whole shuddering plot accumulates volume on a logarithmic scale before its explosive, bunker busting climax.’
      • ‘The first is that the effect is exaggerated by plotting wealth on a logarithmic scale.’
      • ‘Nick has a new theory - you can only persuade people to upgrade on a logarithmic scale.’
      • ‘Because the range of sound pressures that can be heard is so large, a logarithmic scale of decibels is used to measure sound intensity.’
      • ‘A logarithmic scale is used to better represent the multiplier's relative magnitudes.’
      • ‘Data are from US national ambulatory medical care surveys, 1989-94; axes are on the logarithmic scale.’
      • ‘The decibel scale is logarithmic - a noise level of 30 decibels is therefore ten thousand times quieter than the sound of a conversation.’
      • ‘Sound pressure against the ears is measured in decibels on a scale that is logarithmic.’
      • ‘The scale is logarithmic so a solution with a pH value of 3 has 10 times as much hydrogen ion activity as one whose pH value is 4.’
      • ‘Another measure, the geometric mean cost, can be derived by transforming the costs onto a logarithmic scale, calculating the average, and transforming this back.’
      • ‘A complete description of our method, including graphs on logarithmic scales, will appear later this year in the new statistical journal Biostatistics.’
      • ‘To normalize the 2 distributions, we performed the analysis with data transformed on a logarithmic scale.’
  • 2in singular The relative size or extent of something.

    ‘no one foresaw the scale of the disaster’
    ‘everything in the house is on a grand scale’
    • ‘At fashion shows, whether organised on a grand scale by professionals, or at the amateur level by college students, the saree display always fascinates the audience.’
    • ‘It's a betrayal of promises on a grand scale, and all the worse for being a betrayal of the poorest people in the world.’
    • ‘The French and Dutch results were punishment for political failure on a grand scale.’
    • ‘If it's organic, from the soul - you can't reproduce it on a grand scale, like other things that have been pasteurized and distributed.’
    • ‘It may not be on a grand scale but it is very accessible and there for all to enjoy.’
    • ‘Everything here seems to be on a grand scale - the lakes and waterfalls as well as the mountains.’
    • ‘Vancouver is alluring on a grand scale, but it's the detail that ends up seducing you.’
    • ‘The new business opportunities have encouraged entrepreneurship on a grand scale.’
    • ‘From the moment a pontiff chooses a name for his reign, he starts building bridges on a grand scale.’
    • ‘Today garden artistry is available to everyone, and it doesn't have to be on a grand scale.’
    • ‘The prisons' management has presumed guilt over innocence and allowed torture and abuse on a grand scale.’
    • ‘A conviction for corrupting judges on a grand scale would be more difficult to shrug off.’
    • ‘If I'm witnessing torture and inhumanity on a grand scale, the answer is no.’
    • ‘It's a very commendable artistic adventure - to ask the small Ballet B.C. company of 14 dancers to work on a grand scale, to achieve on a small budget.’
    • ‘All writers, he once said, were liars and with regard to his military service he lied on a grand scale.’
    • ‘The teachers at Homewood have innovated on a grand scale to make sure every child has the best chance.’
    • ‘And he will try to demonstrate that he is a sinner on a grand scale, which the poor soul is not.’
    • ‘People of Belgaum are known to celebrate festivals on a grand scale, but the bursting of crackers was limited this time.’
    • ‘Here is dereliction on a grand scale, sludged in mud dumped from the Channel tunnel.’
    • ‘Well, it's hard to prove yet on a grand scale, in part because a relative minority of people shop online.’
    extent, size, scope, magnitude, dimensions, range, breadth, compass, degree, reach, spread, sweep
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1often as modifier A ratio of size in a map, model, drawing, or plan.
      ‘a one-fifth scale model of a seven-story building’
      ‘an Ordnance Survey map on a scale of 1:2500’
      • ‘Oh, I forgot to mention, that all the while, I realize that I have this scale model of the spherical tower that I am holding in my hand.’
      • ‘They had opted for scale models, working gadgets and multimedia shows to attract visitors.’
      • ‘Floor plans and a scale model of the Gallery Quay development are on show today from 2-4pm at the on site marketing suite.’
      • ‘I use these sections to further develop the building's exterior and interior elevations and to build a scale model of wire for each design.’
      • ‘The four-feet by two-feet scale model is an exact replica of the stadium, with executive boxes, stands, and a players' tunnel.’
      • ‘From that, a one-to-five scale model was generated, in which the complexities of bending and the joints could be investigated.’
      • ‘First, they built a one to ten scale model: a large object, which allowed them to work out the nuances of the form, and its spaces and lighting.’
      • ‘It also has a sizeable collection of model vessels - a scale model is commissioned when each new ship is procured.’
      • ‘On display will be vintage cars, commercials, vintage tractors, stationary engines, scale models and motorbikes, along with the only steam motor cycle in the world.’
      • ‘The highlight of this particular gallery will be the large working scale model of the Town Mill.’
      • ‘The beautiful 6 metre scale model at the visitor centre is 34 times smaller than the monument.’
      • ‘A look at the real engines and scale models, combined with the charts and diagrams on the walls, made various aeronautical principles easier to understand.’
      • ‘A one-fifth scale model of the craft has, in tests, demonstrated high speeds and smooth running through a variety of wave patterns.’
      • ‘The teams use scale models and wind tunnel testing to hone their developments.’
      • ‘We may even build scale models and test them in wind tunnels and other ways.’
      • ‘A 23-member IOC delegation inspects a scale model of the Olympic Village planned for the north of Beijing.’
      • ‘They pay all the expenses of the project with their own money coming from the sale of preparatory drawings, collages, scale models, all created before the completion of a project.’
      • ‘The centrepiece of the displays is a pair of fascinating scale models, one of the city before Christ, the other in AD4.’
      • ‘It merely means that shorter-term, fine geographic scale models were most popular.’
      • ‘Would you want to see a film taking place in the real Beijing theme park with scale models of the world's most famous landmarks?’
      ratio, proportion, relative size
      View synonyms
  • 3Music
    An arrangement of the notes in any system of music in ascending or descending order of pitch.

    ‘the scale of C major’
    • ‘One of the most difficult passages for the violin in the first movement is a melodic minor one-octave scale in fingered octaves.’
    • ‘From behind every door came the sound of music: piano scales, a sad clarinet, a snatch of cello, a female voice in full Wagnerian mode.’
    • ‘An ancient musical system, Chinese music uses a scale of seven notes, but focuses on five core tones with two changing tones.’
    • ‘When I was a young boy as a school musician, I learned that music was more than scales or keys or how to make sure I was always in tune.’
    • ‘Further encouraged by his teacher he eventually managed to produce all the notes of the major scale.’
  • 4Mathematics
    A system of numerical notation in which the value of a digit depends upon its position in the number, successive positions representing successive powers of a fixed base.

    ‘the conversion of the number to the binary scale’
    • ‘The scale of notation for the DR score ranged from 0, for resistant plants similar to Kas - 1, to 4 for susceptible plants similar to Col-gl1.’
    • ‘The larger the base scale, the greater is the accuracy of the ACCS component in fulfilling its tasks.’
  • 5Photography
    The range of exposures over which a photographic material will give an acceptable variation in density.

    • ‘That is, the toe and shoulder of Azo form a much smaller part of the exposure scale of Azo as compared to traditional enlarging papers.’
    • ‘For example, the tonal scale of cyanotype varies from 9-11 steps with different light sources.’
    • ‘The chloride papers have a longer scale than bromide papers anyway, and the long development times bring out their best qualities.’

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • 1Climb up or over (something high and steep)

    ‘thieves scaled an 8-foot fence’
    • ‘The bus wheezes its way uphill with a wrenching of gears and whining of suffering brakes along the steep winding roads that scale the suburban hills around Sarajevo.’
    • ‘The thieves had scaled two fences and dragged the pup out of her locked kennel and lifted her over the walls, leaving two less valuable dogs behind.’
    • ‘However, the beckon of the forest - a canopy of leaves under their head - far outweighed the consequences of scaling the valley slopes again.’
    • ‘Now 34, he might be scaling such heights less frequently than he once did, but the desire is still there - and so, clearly, is the enjoyment.’
    • ‘At her age she still has at least one more year in the under-19 section, but scaling the lofty heights of university in Christchurch seems to be her next challenge.’
    • ‘‘New musicians, new forms of music, new findings are all mere milestones in this long journey towards scaling the musical heights,’ he maintains.’
    • ‘He said that it was one of the tough events, jumping across that and then scaling a steep, often slick roof beyond.’
    • ‘Visiting family in Vancouver, it became a familiar routine to scorn ‘At Your Own Risk’ signs and scale the steep winding inclines leading to Whistler.’
    • ‘It was a steep climb, but we scaled it like we were part mountain goat.’
    • ‘He locked up on Friday night and when he came back early Saturday morning he noticed that the flag was gone, meaning thieves must have scaled a 15 ft high wall.’
    • ‘He is then believed to have scaled the 20 metre-high steep slope which runs up from the school's perimeter to the base of the castle walls.’
    • ‘The man's initial rage at his fate gradually turns into acceptance as he begins to see the futility of trying to escape by scaling the pit's steep, loose sand walls.’
    • ‘But after scaling new heights with yesterday's hard earned point, the City manager immediately threw down the gauntlet to his team and challenged them to go one better than last season.’
    • ‘Squinting at the sudden brightness, she hurried over to the watch tower and scaled the steep stairs.’
    • ‘The time it takes to climb a rope or scale a ladder leaves soldiers highly vulnerable to attack.’
    • ‘It was a case of students scaling new heights, in skills.’
    • ‘When the water showed no signs of slowing, they scaled a ledge and climbed over an air conditioning unit to the hotel roof.’
    • ‘The gruelling climb will see the participants scale heights of 4000m in very difficult conditions.’
    • ‘And once she has tackled the project the 20-year-old will be scaling new heights when she embarks on a trek up the mighty Mount Kilimanjaro.’
    • ‘CD players, watches, bottles of spirits and cash were taken in the second incident when the thieves scaled a fence, broke through the main door and climbed through a kitchen hatch.’
    climb, ascend, go up, go over, clamber up, shin, shin up, scramble up, mount
    View synonyms
  • 2Represent in proportional dimensions; reduce or increase in size according to a common scale.

    ‘scaled plans of the house’
    • ‘Work must be scaled to fit the economics of each commission, even if that means having another income source to pay the bills until one hits the big time.’
    • ‘But the combination of natural materials imparts warmth to the space, which is comfortably scaled.’
    • ‘The geodesic grid is scaled according to the size of each dome and except in the smallest dome, where it becomes rather dense, the effect is amazingly light for such enormous spans.’
    • ‘Stipulated building conditions were also scaled according to the size of the proportion granted.’
    • ‘In addition, the signal integrity is reduced through the switch so this approach cannot be scaled to larger switch fabrics without the use of retimer circuits between each device.’
    • ‘I haven't tried scaling the recipe to any other size, but I expect it would work fine.’
    • ‘In the middle of the well-worn floor stood two of their number, wielding blunted swords that had been scaled specifically to their size.’
    • ‘The thing that is instantly striking is the size of the place: Everything is scaled to children.’
    • ‘The corresponding files are small in size and can be scaled at any resolution without losses.’
    • ‘But it's nicely scaled and proportioned, and front porches enliven the streets.’
    • ‘As you can tell by the picture, trays are not scaled to size.’
    • ‘These flattering styles include double front and back darts to offer a shapely silhouette and have been carefully scaled from small to plus sizes.’
    • ‘Figures 1 and 2 are scaled by sample size to facilitate comparison.’
    • ‘No need to celebrate literally with a towering screen, playground, and diner - just scale everything to the size of your yard.’
    • ‘Two equally scaled volumes incorporate the library collection and a sports hall.’
    • ‘It scales its fonts to nearly any size, large or small.’
    • ‘It was featured last fall in a solo show of mine, and the projection was scaled to fit the entire gallery, some 34 feet wide by 14 feet high.’
    • ‘Through its use of color and light, the building celebrates a child's sense of joy and fresh discovery and is perfectly scaled for its young users.’
    1. 2.1no object (of a quantity or property) be variable according to a particular scale.
      • ‘The Finns have a rather different approach, extending their legendary progressive views to parking fines, which scale according to one's annual earnings.’
      • ‘Asymmetrical virtualization, by contrast, can scale to any level, as the appliance does not handle any data flow or physical connections.’
      • ‘They start as low as 500GB and can scale up to tens of terabytes, for an investment as low as five cents per megabyte.’
  • 3North American Estimate the amount of timber that will be produced from (a log or uncut tree).

Phrases

  • off the scale

    • Of or to a degree or level that is far in excess of what is normal or notionally measurable.

      ‘meteorologists warned that conditions would be brutal, with soaring temperatures and humidity off the scale’
      ‘viewing figures are likely to go off the scale because of all the hype’
      • ‘Chemicals in her body had built up so high from exertion they were off the scale.’
      • ‘I had a look at the burnout test, and I was definitely off the scale last summer.’
      • ‘The passion and intensity with which these people laid into these songs are off the scale.’
      • ‘He said cocaine dealing and usage had 'gone off the scale' in recent years in inner city areas, with a sharp reduction in price.’
      • ‘My visitor stats continue to climb off the scale.’
      • ‘After being locked down for so long, the hustle and bustle of the kitchen caused my anxiety level to go off the scale.’
      • ‘This could only make sense if it were true that some risks are simply off the scale of our everyday experience of danger.’
      • ‘We get nuts all the time - we were based in Berkeley then - but this was off the scale.’
      • ‘The swell was near its peak; the waves went off the scale.’
  • play (or sing or practise) scales

    • Perform the notes of a scale as an exercise for the fingers or voice.

      • ‘This piece is for intermediate students who are comfortable playing scales, two- and three-note chords, legato and staccato articulation.’
      • ‘Some of them were trying to get their voices ready by singing scales, but otherwise, most of the girls were silent.’
      • ‘Eventually these skills may be polished by practicing scales, arpeggios and the like hands together, with one hand at a higher dynamic level.’
      • ‘Others tell of voices practising scales in empty rooms.’
      • ‘My advice to other pianists is to gear such matters to a purpose, but after playing scales endlessly for a week that problematical arpeggio in the score can still sound awful!’
  • to scale

    • With a uniform reduction or enlargement.

      ‘it is hard to build models to scale from a drawing’
      • ‘The hugely impressive peace garden involved the digging out of a large map of Ireland from a grid drawn to scale.’
      • ‘My picture of the world is drawn in perspective, and not like a model to scale.’
      • ‘Use graph paper, making each square equal a given dimension to get all the components to scale.’
      • ‘Models of the planets are situated along the path, to scale with their size and the distance between them in the galaxy.’
      • ‘Draw a room to scale and learn about choosing materials and accessories.’
      • ‘Draw it to scale on graph paper which you can find at your local discount store.’
      • ‘He arranged for a model of Khe Sanh built to scale to be set up in the White House basement.’
      • ‘If there are increasing returns to scale, this output reduction means an increase in average cost.’
      • ‘Draw out your bedroom dimensions and on another sheet cut out your furniture to scale.’
  • in scale

    • (of a drawing or model) in proportion to the surroundings.

      • ‘From my vantage point, the cranes working away on the mounds resembled Matchbox cars in scale to the piles.’
      • ‘Staggering the garage's rooflines keeps the garage in scale with outbuildings of that era.’
      • ‘I have had people tag me back, but generally they've retaliated in miniature - in scale.’
      • ‘The maps are bigger in relation to the troops, but at the same time the walls and towers are larger and more in scale to the troop size.’

Phrasal Verbs

  • scale something back

    • Reduce something in size, number, or extent, especially by a constant proportion across the board.

      ‘in the short term, even scaling back defense costs money’
      • ‘We changed the way we put them up and our lights are scaled back but unlike in previous years when we have had whole light strings stolen, not even a light has gone missing.’
      • ‘When they are scaled back, or delayed, or dropped, there is less publicity.’
      • ‘Consequently, to the extent that government funding is scaled back, government's ability to influence the type of digital cultural content that is made available to Canadians would ultimately diminish.’
      • ‘For example, the airline is developing a U.S. ad campaign that initially calls for TV buys, but cost might scale those plans back to radio and print.’
      • ‘Now the charity fears that families and friends of tsunami victims seeking help will not be able to get counselling as the national helpline has been scaled back to a reduced service at its London office.’
      • ‘The immediate consequence will be that other, more pressing, work in flood-hit towns will be scaled back or abandoned.’
  • scale something down (or scale down)

    • Reduce something (or be reduced) in size, number or extent, especially by a constant proportion across the board.

      ‘manufacturing capacity has been scaled down’
      ‘his whole income scaled down by 20 percent’
      • ‘To accommodate all these new costs clinical services have been scaled down, while matching assumptions about increased efficiency are only variably delivered.’
      • ‘The plans were re-evaluated, and the board scaled them down, reducing the project's budget from $20 million to $13.5 million.’
      • ‘A team of up to 20 officers has been working on the inquiry, although the size of the squad has been scaled down in recent years.’
      • ‘Occasionally it goes the other way, and something is scaled down to the extent that it makes me feel as if I'm the one that's disproportionately big, but that's just as bad.’
      • ‘Taxes would be adjusted downward by a specified amount for each percentage point by which output is below normal, except that the size of the tax cut would be scaled down if inflation is currently well above its target.’
      • ‘Already, growth forecasts are being scaled down for next year, and they will be scaled down still further should the euro continue to rise on the foreign exchanges.’
      • ‘Most routes would be scaled down but some would be discontinued entirely.’
      • ‘He states that in most other sports be it golf, hockey, hurling, tennis etc. the size of the equipment is scaled down for the younger players.’
      • ‘The amount of pears that I had yielded eight jars of assorted shapes and sizes, so I scaled things down a bit in the recipe below.’
      • ‘A team of up to 20 officers have been working on the case, although the size of the investigation squad has been scaled down in recent years.’
      • ‘The scheme was then amended, with one building being lowered by one floor, with reduced glazing, and the other two buildings were scaled down.’
      • ‘Plans to house hundreds of asylum-seekers in rural centres could be scaled down to try to save key reforms being scuppered by the Lords, the Government hinted yesterday.’
      reduce, cut down, cut back, cut, make cutbacks in, decrease, lessen, lower, trim, slim down, prune, curtail
      increase, expand, augment, build up, add to
      View synonyms
  • scale something up (or scale up)

    • Increase something (or be increased) in size or number.

      ‘one cannot suddenly scale up a laboratory procedure by a thousandfold’
      • ‘The researchers believe that these logic gates could be scaled up to include many qubits in a large, workable quantum computer.’
      • ‘The United Nations' own report last week on the current scale of the epidemic warned that ‘ unless action against the epidemic is scaled up drastically, the damage already done will seem minor compared with what lies ahead.’’
      • ‘But the speed with which these sales opportunities are scaled up will be vital.’
      • ‘The CD based stained glass patterns are scaled up to the desired size, printed as a template, which helps draw the same pattern onto the glass by etching.’
      • ‘But only once the technology is scaled up will we fully realise its military and commercial potential.’
      • ‘Over 60% of orangutans are living outside reserves and this catastrophic decline will continue unless conservation efforts are scaled up to tackle habitat loss and poaching in privately-owned land.’
      • ‘The focus was on scaling up the number of components on a single chip.’
      • ‘If it could be scaled up to the size of an automobile engine, it would be 100 million times more powerful.’
      • ‘And it was during a product demonstration that the Duke expressed his surprise that the pipe could be scaled up or down to suit a firm's needs.’
      • ‘The idea is to take out the first issue ourselves, create a model, and then scale it up.’
      • ‘Every time you scale things up—from, say, a mouse to the size of a human baby—then you need to have different conditions.’
      • ‘As the situation in Niger deteriorates, the response will be scaled up.’

Origin

Late Middle English: from Latin scala ‘ladder’ (the verb via Old French escaler or medieval Latin scalare ‘climb’), from the base of Latin scandere ‘to climb’.

Pronunciation

scale

/skāl//skeɪl/