• (British) IPA: /ˈskantlɪŋ/
  • (GA) IPA: /ˈskæntlɪŋ/

scantling (plural scantlings)

  1. (chiefly, in the plural) The set size or dimension of a piece of timber, stone etc., or materials used to build ships or aircraft.
  2. (archaic) A small portion, a scant amount.
    • 1603, Michel de Montaigne, John Florio, transl., The Essayes, […], printed at London: By Val[entine] Simmes for Edward Blount […], OCLC 946730821 ↗:
      , Folio Society, 2006, vol.1, p.204:
      For one may have particular knowledge of the nature of one river, and experience of the qualitie of one fountaine, that in other things knowes no more than another man: who neverthelesse to publish this little scantling, will undertake to write all of the Physickes.
    • 1625, Francis Bacon, Of Honor and Reputation
      Such as exceed not this scantling, to be solace to the sovereign and harmless to the people.
    • 1641, John Milton, Of Reformation Touching Church-Discipline in England: And the Cavvses that hitherto have hindred it., Printed, for Thomas Underhill; republished as Will Taliaferro Hale, editor, Of Reformation Touching Church-Discipline in England (Yale Studies in English; LIV), New Haven: Yale University Press, 1916, OCLC 260112239 ↗:
      A pretty scantling of his knowledge may taken by his deferring to be baptized so many years.
    • Reducing them to narrow scantlings.
  3. A small, upright beam of timber used in construction, especially less than five inches square.
  4. (uncountable) Timber in the form of small beams and pieces.
    • 1899, Kate Chopin, The Awakening:
      Victor, with hammer and nails and scraps of scantling, was patching a corner of one of the galleries.
  5. (obsolete) A rough draught; a crude sketch or outline.
  6. (obsolete) A frame for casks to lie upon; a trestle.


  1. Not plentiful; small; scanty.

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