scale Definition

  • 1a system of ordered marks at fixed intervals used as a reference standard in measurement
  • 2a range of different sizes, amount, or levels
  • 3a thin flake of dead epidermis shed from the skin

Using scale: Examples

Take a moment to familiarize yourself with how "scale" can be used in various situations through the following examples!

  • Example

    The scale on the map is one inch to one mile.

  • Example

    The scale of the problem is much bigger than we thought.

  • Example

    I have dry skin and scales on my legs.

scale Synonyms and Antonyms

Idioms Using scale

  • to be the deciding factor in a situation


    Her experience and qualifications tipped the scale in her favor during the job interview.

  • exceeding all expectations or limits


    The success of the new product was off the scale, with sales reaching record numbers.

  • throw someone/something off balance/scale

    to cause someone or something to become unsteady or unstable


    The unexpected news threw him off balance and he stumbled backwards.

Phrases with scale

  • a device for weighing people or things


    The doctor asked me to step on the weighing scale.

  • a series of musical notes arranged in order of pitch


    She played a beautiful melody using the C major scale.

  • scale back/down

    reduce the size, amount, or extent of something


    The company decided to scale back their operations due to financial difficulties.

Origins of scale

from Old Norse 'skál', meaning 'bowl, drinking cup'


Summary: scale in Brief

The term 'scale' [skeɪl] refers to a system of ordered marks used as a reference standard in measurement, a range of different sizes or levels, and a thin flake of dead epidermis shed from the skin. It can denote a weighing scale or a musical scale, and idioms like 'tip the scale' and 'off the scale' express decisive factors and exceeding expectations, respectively. 'Scale back/down' means to reduce something, while 'throw someone/something off balance/scale' implies instability.

How do native speakers use this expression?