size1 [singular, uncountable] the size or extent of something, especially when compared with something elseThey entertain on a large scale(= they hold expensive parties with a lot of guests).Here was corruption on a grand scale.On a global scale, 77% of energy is created from fossil fuels.to achieve economies of scale in production (= to produce many items so the cost of producing each one is reduced)scale of something It was impossible to comprehend the full scale of the disaster.It was not until morning that the sheer scale of the damage could be seen (= how great it was). see also full-scale, large-scale, small-scale
range of levels2 [countable] a range of levels or numbers used for measuring somethinga five-point pay scaleto evaluate performance on a scale from 1 to 10The salary scale goes from £12000 to £20000.a scale of charges see also Richter scale, sliding scale, timescale3 [countable, usually singular] the set of all the different levels of something, from the lowest to the highestAt the other end of the scale, life is a constant struggle to get enough to eat.the social scale
marks for measuring4 [countable] a series of marks at regular intervals on an instrument that is used for measuringHow much does it read on the scale?
weighing instrument5 scales [plural] (North American English also scale) an instrument for weighing people or thingsbathroom/kitchen/weighing scales (figurative) the scales of justice(= represented as the two pans on a balance (5) )
of map/diagram/model6 [countable] the relation between the actual size of something and its size on a map, diagram or model that represents ita scale of 1:25000a scale model/drawingBoth plans are drawn to the same scale.Is this diagram to scale(= are all its parts the same size and shape in relation to each other as they are in the thing represented)?
in music7 [countable] a series of musical notes moving upwards or downwards, with fixed intervals between each note, especially a series of eight starting on a particular notethe scale of C majorto practise scales on the piano compare key n. (5), octave
of fish/reptile8 [countable] any of the thin plates of hard material that cover the skin of many fish and reptilesThe beast was a dragon, with great purple and green scales.
in water pipes, etc.9 (British English also fur) [uncountable] a hard greyish-white substance that is sometimes left inside water pipes and containers for heating water see also limescale
on teeth10 [uncountable] a hard substance that forms on teeth, especially when they are not cleaned regularly compare plaque
Idiomssee tip the balance/scales at tip v., tip the scales at something at tip v.