Definition of scale noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



; skeɪl


1 [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 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 levels

2 [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 measuring

4 [countable] a series of marks at regular intervals on an instrument that is used for measuringHow much does it read on the scale?

weighing instrument

5 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/model

6 [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 music

7 [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/reptile

8 [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 teeth

10 [uncountable] a hard substance that forms on teeth, especially when they are not cleaned regularly compare plaque
tip the balance/scales at tip v.
, tip the scales at something at tip v.