Definitions for: Scale

[n] a flattened rigid plate forming part of the body covering of many animals
[n] a metal sheathing of uniform thickness (such as the shield attached to an artillery piece to protect the gunners)
[n] an indicator having a graduated sequence of marks
[n] a measuring instrument for weighing; shows amount of mass
[n] (music) a series of notes differing in pitch according to a specific scheme (usually within an octave)
[n] a thin flake of dead epidermis shed from the surface of the skin
[n] a specialized leaf or bract that protects a bud or catkin
[n] relative magnitude; "they entertained on a grand scale"
[n] the ratio between the size of something and a representation of it; "the scale of the map"; "the scale of the model"
[n] an ordered reference standard; "judging on a scale of 1 to 10"
[v] size or measure according to a scale
[v] measure with or as if with scales; "scale the gold"
[v] remove the scales from; "scale fish"
[v] pattern, make, regulate, set, measure, or estimate according to some rate or standard
[v] climb up by means of a ladder
[v] reach the highest point of; "We scaled the Mont Blanc"
[v] take by attacking with scaling ladders; "The troops took the fort"
[v] measure by or as if by a scale; "This bike scales only 25 pounds"

Webster (1913) Definition: Scale (sk[=a]l), n. [AS. sc[=a]le; perhaps influenced by
the kindred Icel. sk[=a]l balance, dish, akin also to D.
schaal a scale, bowl, shell, G. schale, OHG. sc[=a]la, Dan.
skaal drinking cup, bowl, dish, and perh. to E. scale of a
fish. Cf. Scale of a fish, Skull the brain case.]
1. The dish of a balance; hence, the balance itself; an
instrument or machine for weighing; as, to turn the scale;
-- chiefly used in the plural when applied to the whole
instrument or apparatus for weighing. Also used

Long time in even scale The battle hung. --Milton.

The scales are turned; her kindness weighs no more
Now than my vows. --Waller.

2. pl. (Astron.) The sign or constellation Libra.

Platform scale. See under Platform.

Scale, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Scaled; p. pr. & vb. n.
To weigh or measure according to a scale; to measure; also,
to grade or vary according to a scale or system.

Scaling his present bearing with his past. --Shak.

To scale, or scale down, a debt, wages, etc., to reduce
a debt, etc., according to a fixed ratio or scale. [U.S.]

Scale, n. [Cf. AS. scealu, scalu, a shell, parings; akin
to D. schaal, G. schale, OHG. scala, Dan. & Sw. skal a shell,
Dan. ski[ae]l a fish scale, Goth. skalja tile, and E. shale,
shell, and perhaps also to scale of a balance; but perhaps
rather fr. OF. escale, escaile, F. ['e]caille scale of a
fish, and ['e]cale shell of beans, pease, eggs, nuts, of
German origin, and akin to Goth. skalja, G. schale. See
1. (Anat.) One of the small, thin, membranous, bony or horny
pieces which form the covering of many fishes and
reptiles, and some mammals, belonging to the dermal part
of the skeleton, or dermoskeleton. See Cycloid,
Ctenoid, and Ganoid.

Fish that, with their fins and shining scales, Glide
under the green wave. --Milton.

2. Hence, any layer or leaf of metal or other material,
resembling in size and thinness the scale of a fish; as, a
scale of iron, of bone, etc.

3. (Zo["o]l.) One of the small scalelike structures covering
parts of some invertebrates, as those on the wings of
Lepidoptera and on the body of Thysanura; the elytra of
certain annelids. See Lepidoptera.

4. (Zo["o]l.) A scale insect. (See below.)

5. (Bot.) A small appendage like a rudimentary leaf,
resembling the scales of a fish in form, and often in
arrangement; as, the scale of a bud, of a pine cone, and
the like. The name is also given to the chaff on the stems
of ferns.

6. The thin metallic side plate of the handle of a
pocketknife. See Illust. of Pocketknife.

7. An incrustation deposit on the inside of a vessel in which
water is heated, as a steam boiler.

8. (Metal.) The thin oxide which forms on the surface of iron
forgings. It consists essentially of the magnetic oxide,
Fe3O4. Also, a similar coating upon other metals.

Covering scale (Zo["o]l.), a hydrophyllium.

Ganoid scale. (Zo["o]l.) See under Ganoid.

Scale armor (Mil.), armor made of small metallic scales
overlapping, and fastened upon leather or cloth.

Scale beetle (Zo["o]l.), the tiger beetle.

Scale carp (Zo["o]l.), a carp having normal scales.

Scale insect (Zo["o]l.), any one of numerous species of
small hemipterous insects belonging to the family
Coccid[ae], in which the females, when adult, become
more or less scalelike in form. They are found upon the
leaves and twigs of various trees and shrubs, and often do
great damage to fruit trees. See Orange scale,under

Scale moss (Bot.), any leafy-stemmed moss of the order
Hepatic[ae]; -- so called from the small imbricated
scalelike leaves of most of the species. See Hepatica,
2, and Jungermannia.

Scale, v. t.
1. To strip or clear of scale or scales; as, to scale a fish;
to scale the inside of a boiler.

2. 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.'' --T. Burnet.

3. To scatter; to spread. [Scot. & Prov. Eng.]

4. (Gun.) To clean, as the inside of a cannon, by the
explosion of a small quantity of powder. --Totten.

Scale, v. i.
1. To separate and come off in thin layers or lamin[ae]; as,
some sandstone scales by exposure.

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. --Bacon.

2. To separate; to scatter. [Scot. & Prov. Eng.]

Scale, n. [L. scalae, pl., scala staircase, ladder; akin
to scandere to climb. See Scan; cf. Escalade.]
1. A ladder; a series of steps; a means of ascending. [Obs.]

2. Hence, anything graduated, especially when employed as a
measure or rule, or marked by lines at regular intervals.
(a) A mathematical instrument, consisting of a slip of
wood, ivory, or metal, with one or more sets of spaces
graduated and numbered on its surface, for measuring
or laying off distances, etc., as in drawing,
plotting, and the like. See Gunter's scale.
(b) A series of spaces marked by lines, and representing
proportionately larger distances; as, a scale of
miles, yards, feet, etc., for a map or plan.
(c) A basis for a numeral system; as, the decimal scale;
the binary scale, etc.
(d) (Mus.) The graduated series of all the tones,
ascending or descending, from the keynote to its
octave; -- called also the gamut. It may be repeated
through any number of octaves. See Chromatic scale,
Diatonic scale, Major scale, and Minor scale,
under Chromatic, Diatonic, Major, and Minor.

3. Gradation; succession of ascending and descending steps
and degrees; progressive series; scheme of comparative
rank or order; as, a scale of being.

There is a certain scale of duties . . . which for
want of studying in right order, all the world is in
confusion. --Milton.

4. Relative dimensions, without difference in proportion of
parts; size or degree of the parts or components in any
complex thing, compared with other like things;
especially, the relative proportion of the linear
dimensions of the parts of a drawing, map, model, etc., to
the dimensions of the corresponding parts of the object
that is represented; as, a map on a scale of an inch to a

Scale of chords, a graduated scale on which are given the
lengths of the chords of arcs from 0[deg] to 90[deg] in a
circle of given radius, -- used in measuring given angles
and in plotting angles of given numbers of degrees.

Scale, v. t. [Cf. It. scalare, fr. L. scalae, scala. See
Scale a ladder.]
To climb by a ladder, or as if by a ladder; to ascend by
steps or by climbing; to clamber up; as, to scale the wall of
a fort.

Oft have I scaled the craggy oak. --Spenser.

Scale, v. i.
To lead up by steps; to ascend. [Obs.]

Satan from hence, now on the lower stair, That scaled
by steps of gold to heaven-gate, Looks down with
wonder. --Milton.

Synonyms: descale, exfoliation, graduated table, musical scale, ordered series, plate, scale leaf, scale of measurement, scurf, shell, surmount, weighing machine

See Also: armor plate, armor plating, armour plate, arrive at, attain, balance, Beaufort scale, bit, chip, chromatic scale, climb, climb up, cover, covering, criterion, dander, dandruff, diatonic scale, fish scale, flake, fleck, foliage, gain, gamut, gapped scale, go up, hit, horseshoe, index, indicator, leaf, leafage, logarithmic scale, magnitude relation, make, measure, measure, measure, measuring device, measuring instrument, measuring system, Mercalli scale, model, Mohs scale, mount, musical notation, musical note, natural covering, note, pattern, plate armor, plate armour, proportion, proportionality, quantify, quantitative relation, reach, remove, Richter scale, scrap, shell plating, shield, shoe, size, squama, squamule, standard, take, take, take away, temperature scale, tone, touchstone, U-shaped plate, vernier, vernier scale, wage scale, wage schedule, weighbridge, wind scale, withdraw

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