scale
Pronunciation
  • IPA: /skeɪl/, [skeɪ̯ɫ]

Noun

scale (plural scales)

  1. (obsolete) A ladder; a series of steps; a means of ascending.
  2. An ordered, usually numerical sequence used for measurement, means of assigning a magnitude.
    Please rate your experience on a scale from 1 to 10.
    The magnitude of an earthquake is measured on the open-ended Richter scale.
  3. Size; scope.
    The Holocaust was insanity on an enormous scale.
    There are some who question the scale of our ambitions.
  4. The ratio of depicted distance to actual distance.
    This map uses a scale of 1:10.
  5. A line or bar associated with a drawing, used to indicate measurement when the image has been magnified or reduced.
    • 1992, Rudolf M[athias] Schuster, The Hepaticae and Anthocerotae of North America: East of the Hundredth Meridian, volume V, New York, N.Y.: Columbia University Press, →ISBN, page ix:
      Even though precision can be carried to an extreme, the scales which now are drawn in (and usually connected to an appropriate figure by an arrow) will allow derivation of meaningful measurements.
  6. (music) A series of notes spanning an octave, tritave, or pseudo-octave, used to make melodies.
  7. A mathematical base for a numeral system; radix.
    the decimal scale; the binary scale
  8. Gradation; succession of ascending and descending steps and degrees; progressive series; scheme of comparative rank or order.
    • 1644, John Milton, The Doctrine or Discipline of Divorce:
      There is a certain scale of duties […] which for want of studying in right order, all the world is in confusion.
  9. A standard amount of money to be received by a performer or writer, negotiated by a union.
    Sally wasn't the star of the show, so she was glad to be paid scale.
Translations Translations Translations Translations
Verb

scale (scales, present participle scaling; past and past participle scaled)

  1. (transitive) To change the size of something whilst maintaining proportion; especially to change a process in order to produce much larger amounts of the final product.
    We should scale that up by a factor of 10.
  2. (transitive) To climb to the top of.
    Hilary and Norgay were the first known to have scaled Everest.
    • 1918, Edgar Rice Burroughs, The Land That Time Forgot Chapter IX
      At last I came to the great barrier-cliffs; and after three days of mad effort--of maniacal effort--I scaled them. I built crude ladders; I wedged sticks in narrow fissures; I chopped toe-holds and finger-holds with my long knife; but at last I scaled them. Near the summit I came upon a huge cavern.
    • 1932, Dorothy L Sayers, Have his Carcase, Chapter 1.
      A solitary rock is always attractive. All right-minded people feel an overwhelming desire to scale and sit upon it.
  3. (intransitive, computing) To tolerate significant increases in throughput or other potentially limiting factors.
    That architecture won't scale to real-world environments.
  4. (transitive) To weigh, measure or grade according to a scale or system.
    • c. 1608–1609, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedy of Coriolanus”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act II, scene iii]:
      Scaling his present bearing with his past.
Related terms Translations Translations
Noun

scale (plural scales)

  1. Part of an overlapping arrangement of many small, flat and hard pieces of keratin covering the skin of an animal, particularly a fish or reptile.
    • 1667, John Milton, “Book 7”, in Paradise Lost. A Poem Written in Ten Books, London: Printed [by Samuel Simmons], and are to be sold by Peter Parker […] [a]nd by Robert Boulter […] [a]nd Matthias Walker, […], OCLC 228722708 ↗; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: The Text Exactly Reproduced from the First Edition of 1667: […], London: Basil Montagu Pickering […], 1873, OCLC 230729554 ↗:
      Fish that, with their fins and shining scales, / Glide under the green wave.
  2. A small piece of pigmented chitin, many of which coat the wings of a butterfly or moth to give them their color.
  3. A flake of skin of an animal afflicted with dermatitis.
  4. Part of an overlapping arrangement of many small, flat and hard protective layers forming a pinecone that flare when mature to release pine nut seeds.
  5. The flaky material sloughed off heated metal.
  6. Scale mail (as opposed to chain mail).
  7. Limescale.
  8. A scale insect.
  9. The thin metallic side plate of the handle of a pocketknife.
Translations Translations
  • French: écaille
  • Russian: чешу́йка
Translations Translations Translations Translations
  • German: Schuppenpanzer

Verb

scale (scales, present participle scaling; past and past participle scaled)

  1. (transitive) To remove the scales of.
    Please scale that fish for dinner.
  2. (intransitive) To become scaly; to produce or develop scales.
    The dry weather is making my skin scale.
  3. (transitive) To strip or clear of scale; to descale.
    to scale the inside of a boiler
  4. (transitive) To take off in thin layers or scales, as tartar from the teeth; to pare off, as a surface.
    • if all the mountains were scaled, and the earth made even
  5. (intransitive) To separate and come off in thin layers or laminae.
    Some sandstone scales by exposure.
    • 1626, Francis Bacon, Sylva Sylvarum, Or, A Naturall Historie: In Ten Centuries
      Those that cast their shell are the lobster and crab; the old skins are found, but the old shells never; so it is likely that they scale off.
  6. (UK, Scotland, dialect) To scatter; to spread.
  7. (transitive) To clean, as the inside of a cannon, by the explosion of a small quantity of powder.
Translations Translations
Noun

scale (plural scales)

  1. A device to measure mass or weight.
    After the long, lazy winter I was afraid to get on the scale.
  2. Either of the pans, trays, or dishes of a balance or scales.
Translations
  • French: (d'une balance) plateau
  • German: Waagschale
  • Portuguese: prato
  • Russian: ча́ша весо́в
  • Spanish: platillo



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