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The following statistics are based on the British National Corpus, so they are representative for the British English.

Distribution of usage frequency for the most common synonyms of the noun scale:


Distribution of usage frequency for the most common synonyms of the verb scale:

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Definition of the noun scale

What does scale mean as a name of something?

Scale is one of the top 1000 most common nouns in the English language.

noun - plural: scales

  1. an ordered reference standard
    • example: judging on a scale of 1 to 10
    • lexical domain: Relations - nouns denoting relations between people or things or ideas
    • synonyms of scale: graduated table / ordered series / scale of measurement
    • more generic words: criterion / measure / standard / touchstone = a basis for comparison
    • more specific terms:
      • Beaufort scale / wind scale = an international scale of wind force from 0 (calm air) to 12
      • index = a numerical scale used to compare variables with one another or with some reference number
      • logarithmic scale = scale on which actual distances from the origin are proportional to the logarithms of the corresponding scale numbers
      • Mercalli scale = a scale formerly used to describe the magnitude of an earthquake
      • Mohs scale = a scale of hardness of solids; talc is 0 and diamond is 10
      • Richter scale = a logarithmic scale of 1 to 10 formerly used to express the magnitude of an earthquake on the basis of the size of seismograph oscillations
      • moment magnitude scale = a logarithmic scale of 1 to 10 (a successor to the Richter scale) that enables seismologists to compare the energy released by different earthquakes on the basis of the area of the geological fault that ruptured in the quake
      • temperature scale = a system of measuring temperature
      • wage schedule / wage scale = a schedule of wages paid for different jobs
  2. relative magnitude
  3. the ratio between the size of something and a representation of it
    • examples: the scale of the map | the scale of the model
    • lexical domain: Relations - nouns denoting relations between people or things or ideas
    • more generic word: proportion = the quotient obtained when the magnitude of a part is divided by the magnitude of the whole
  4. a specialized leaf or bract that protects a bud or catkin
    • lexical domain: Plants - nouns denoting plants
    • synonym of scale: scale leaf
    • more generic words: foliage / leaf / leafage = the main organ of photosynthesis and transpiration in higher plants
    • more specific word: squamule = a minute scale
  5. a thin flake of dead epidermis shed from the surface of the skin
    • lexical domain: Natural Objects - nouns denoting natural objects (not man-made)
    • synonyms of scale: exfoliation / scurf
    • more generic words: bit / chip / flake / fleck / scrap = a small fragment of something broken off from the whole
    • more specific words:
      • dander = small scales from animal skins or hair or bird feathers that can cause allergic reactions in some people
      • dandruff = loose scales shed from the scalp
  6. (music) a series of notes differing in pitch according to a specific scheme (usually within an octave)
  7. a measuring instrument for weighing; shows amount of mass
  8. an indicator having a graduated sequence of marks
    • lexical domain: Artifacts - nouns denoting man-made objects
    • more generic word: indicator = a device for showing the operating condition of some system
    • more specific terms: vernier scale / vernier = a small movable scale that slides along a main scale
  9. a metal sheathing of uniform thickness (such as the shield attached to an artillery piece to protect the gunners)
  10. a flattened rigid plate forming part of the body covering of many animals
    • lexical domain: Animals - nouns denoting animals
    • more generic terms: cover / covering / natural covering = a natural object that covers or envelops
    • more specific terms:
      • fish scale = scale of the kind that covers the bodies of fish
      • squama = a protective structure resembling a scale

Alternative definition of the noun scale


  1. An ordered numerical sequence used for measurement.
  2. Size; scope.
  3. The ratio of depicted distance to actual distance.
  4. A line or bar associated with a drawing, used to indicate measurement when the image has been magnified or reduced
  5. A means of assigning a magnitude.
  6. [music] A series of notes spanning an octave, tritave, or pseudo-octave, used to make melodies.
  7. 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.
  8. A small piece of pigmented chitin, many of which coat the wings of a butterfly or moth to give them their color.
  9. A flake of skin of an animal afflicted with dermatitis.
  10. A pine nut of a pinecone.
  11. The flaky material sloughed off heated metal.
  12. Scale mail (as opposed to chain mail).
  13. See Limescale.
  14. A device to measure mass or weight.
  15. Either of the pans, trays, or dishes of a balance or scales.

Specialised definition of the noun scale

Glossary of sports

in several artistic sport disciplines, a movement skill, where the body (or major parts of the body) are balanced horizontally by means of hanging, standing or supporting oneself. Examples are the scale in ice and roller skating (body and free leg form a horizontal line; if a turn around the longitudinal axis is performed, it is called a scale pirouette; in the pairs it can be performed in the dance position, head to head, or head to foot (dragonfly)), in sport acrobatics (horizontal balancing by means of hanging or supporting oneself), and in gymnastics (a balance element, where the body is held horizontally, e.g. as knee, support, standing or hanging scale). (Herbert Haag & Gerald Haag. 2003. Dictionary. Sport, Physical Education, Sport Science. Kiel, Institut für Sport und Sportwissenschaften)

Definition of the verb scale

What does scale mean as a doing word?

verb - inflections: scaled | scaling | scales

  1. measure by or as if by a scale
    • example: This bike scales only 25 pounds
    • lexical domain: Stative - verbs of being, having, spatial relations
    • more generic word: measure = have certain dimensions
  2. pattern, make, regulate, set, measure, or estimate according to some rate or standard
    • lexical domain: Creation - verbs of sewing, baking, painting, performing
    • more generic words: model / pattern = plan or create according to a model or models
  3. take by attacking with scaling ladders
    • example: The troops scaled the walls of the fort
    • lexical domain: Possession - verbs of buying, selling, owning
    • more generic word: take = take by force
  4. reach the highest point of
    • example: We scaled the Mont Blanc
    • lexical domain: Motions - verbs of walking, flying, swimming
    • synonym of scale: surmount
    • more generic terms: arrive at / attain / gain / hit / make / reach = reach a destination, either real or abstract
  5. climb up by means of a ladder
    • lexical domain: Motions - verbs of walking, flying, swimming
    • more generic terms: climb / climb up / go up / mount = go upward with gradual or continuous progress
  6. remove the scales from
  7. measure with or as if with scales
    • example: scale the gold
    • lexical domain: Change - verbs of size, temperature change, intensifying, etc.
    • more generic words: measure / quantify = express as a number or measure or quantity
  8. size or measure according to a scale
    • example: This model must be scaled down
    • lexical domain: Change - verbs of size, temperature change, intensifying, etc.
    • more generic word: size = make to a size

Alternative definition of the verb scale


  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.
  2. [transitive] To climb to the top of.
  3. [intransitive] (computing) To tolerate significant increases in throughput or other potentially limiting factors.
  4. [transitive] To remove the scales of.
  5. [intransitive] To become scaly; to produce or develop scales.


  1. "Scale" is an album by Matthew Herbert, released May 29, 2006. According to the liner notes, 613 objects were used to create the album. These include traditional instruments, such as violins and guitars, as well as other objects, such as breakfast cereal, gas pumps and coffins.
  2. "Scale" is a composition, cataloged instance.
  3. "Scale" is a musical album of Drongomala.
    • released in (9 years ago)
  4. "Scale" is a composition.


"Scale" is a collection of poems written by Ojārs Vācietis in 1976.

  • also known as Gamma


  1. "Scale" a.k.a. "L'escale": L'escale is a 2014 short drama film written by Yannick Nolin and Steve Gagnon and directed by Yannick Nolin and Carlos Gerardo García.
  2. "Scale": Ours is a time of illicit war, unchecked corporate greed, and a presidential regime that supports such indecencies. This is the Bush Agenda, and the conditions for ending it have altered due to the incomprehensible scale of this unparalleled military-corporate-government-media behemoth.
    • genres: Political drama, War film
    • released in (8 years ago)


  1. The scale of a map is the ratio of a distance on the map to the corresponding distance on the ground. This simple concept is complicated by the curvature of the Earth's surface, which forces scale to vary across a map. Because of this variation, the concept of scale becomes meaningful in two distinct ways. The first way is the ratio of the size of the generating globe to the size of the Earth. The generating globe is a conceptual model to which the Earth is shrunk and from which the map is projected.
  2. Scale: In most biological nomenclature, a scale is a small rigid plate that grows out of an animal's skin to provide protection. In lepidopteran species, scales are plates on the surface of the insect wing, and provide coloration. Scales are quite common and have evolved multiple times with varying structure and function.
    • also known as Φολίδα, 鳞
  3. Scale: In the social sciences, scaling is the process of measuring or ordering entities with respect to quantitative attributes or traits. For example, a scaling technique might involve estimating individuals' levels of extraversion, or the perceived quality of products. Certain methods of scaling permit estimation of magnitudes on a continuum, while other methods provide only for relative ordering of the entities.
  4. Scale: In physics, geography, astronomy, meteorology, statistics, and other sciences, the term scale or spatial scale is used for describing or classifying with large approximation the extent or size of a length, distance, or area studied or described. For instance, in physics an object or phenomenon can be called microscopic if too small to be visible. In climatology, a micro-climate is a climate which might occur in a mountain, valley, or near a lake shore, whereas in statistics a megatrend is a political, social, economical, environmental, or technological trend which involves the whole planet or is supposed to last a very large amount of time.
    • also known as Scala, Skaala, 標度, Räumlicher Maßstab
  5. Scale: In the mathematical discipline of descriptive set theory, a scale is a certain kind of object defined on a set of points in some Polish space. Scales were originally isolated as a concept in the theory of uniformization, but have found wide applicability in descriptive set theory, with applications such as establishing bounds on the possible lengths of wellorderings of a given complexity, and showing that there are largest countable sets of certain complexities.
    • also known as Scale property
  6. Scale a.k.a. Manhattan Scale: A high-performing, affordable and low-risk supply chain management and execution solution built on the Microsoft .

Phrases with Scale

Phrases starting with the word Scale:

  1. scale up
  2. Scale Bud
  3. scale off
  4. scale wax
  5. scale down
  6. scale fern
  7. Scale Lanx
  8. scale leaf
  9. Scale Mail

Phrases ending with the word Scale:

  1. ph scale
  2. to scale
  3. Pit Scale
  4. beam scale
  5. brix scale
  6. fern scale
  7. fish scale
  8. full-scale
  9. Leaf-Scale
  10. Long Scale
  11. mohs scale

View more phrases with the word Scale in thesaurus!

Printed books with definitions for Scale

Click on a title to look inside that book (if available):

Google previewCyber-Risk Management (2015)

by Atle Refsdal, Bjørnar Solhaug, Ketil Stolen

An ordinal scale is a nominal scale whose categories or values are ordered. We may...

A difference scale is an ordinal scale such that equality of difference at the level of values implies that the corresponding phenomena are equally distinct.

Google previewThe Life of the Cosmos (1999)

by Lee Smolin

a phase transition, the fundamental scale is the scale of atomic physics; the larger scale is the everyday macroscopic world in which we can see, with our own eyes, the material melting or boiling. In the case of the laws of elementary particle ...

Google previewScale in Spatial Information and Analysis (2014)

by Jingxiong Zhang, Peter Atkinson, Michael F. Goodchild

Scale is an essential dimension in geospatial research and applications, transcending various facets of spatial information and analysis...

Google previewAn Introduction to Scientific Research Methods in Geography (2006)

by Daniel Montello, Paul Sutton

Phenomenon scale refers to the size at which human or physical earth structures or processes actually exist, regardless of how they are studied or represented. A lake is larger than a pond (in the English language anyway), and a city is larger ...

Google previewCausality and Causal Modelling in the Social Sciences (2008)

Measuring Variations by Federica Russo

A categorical or nominal scale means that there is no intrinsic ordering among the categories; examples include religion (Catholic, Muslim, Jewish, ...), marital status (single, married, divorced, widowed, ...), and gender (male, female).

Google previewLexicon of Psychiatry, Neurology, and the Neurosciences (2000)

by Frank J. Ayd

Abbreviations and Acronyms Abbreviations and Acronyms ACNP American College of Neuropsychopharmacology ACTH adrenocorticotropin hormone AIDS autoimmune deficiency syndrome AIMS Abnormal Involuntary Movement Scale ALT ...

Online dictionaries and encyclopedias with entries for Scale

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Photos about Scale

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If you need related images for an article or a report, you can download stock photos:
Small photo of Law scale justice symbol.Small photo of Law scale justice symbol.Small photo of gold justice scale, dark backgroundSmall photo of gold justice scale, dark backgroundSmall photo of Bathroom Scale on White BackgroundSmall photo of Weight Scale, Scale, Weight.Small photo of Weight Scale, Overweight, Scale. More...

Video language resources about Scale

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View more videos about time scale, Tone scale, Blues scale, Major scale, Scale Ruler, Planck scale, Ordinal Scale, Richter scale, Beaufort scale, Diatonic scale, Scoville scale, Octatonic scale, Pentatonic scale, Scale invariance, Economies of scale, Melodic Minor Scale, and Large Scale Integration.

See also the pronunciation examples of Scale!

Sign language

The Average Pay Scale For Video Sign Language Interpreters

Duration 02:37

Quotes about Scale

I soon realised that what had happened on a small scale cannot necessarily be repeated on a larger scale. The stones were so big that the amount of heat required was prohibitively expensive and wasteful. (Andy Goldsworthy)
more quotes about scale...

Scrabble value of S1C3A1L1E1

The value of this 5-letter word is 7 points. It is included in the first and second editions of the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary.

Anagrams of SCALE

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