1. size/level [singular, uncountable]       the size or level of something, or the amount that something is happening 

We had underestimated the scale of the problem.

on a large/small/grand etc scale           

There has been housing development on a massive scale since 1980.

Most alternative technologies work best on a small scale.

A structural survey revealed the           full scale           of the damage.

I was shocked by the   sheer scale (=very big scale)    of the destruction.

on a global/international/world scale    

Pollution could cause changes to weather patterns on a global scale.

Large firms benefit from           economies of scale (=ways of saving money because they are big).

2. range [countable usually singular]     a whole range of different types of people or things, from the lowest level to the highest:

Some rural schools have 50 pupils, while  at the other end of the scale there are city schools with nearly 5,000 pupils.

up/down the scale       

She gradually made her way up            the social scale.

animals which are lower down  the evolutionary scale (=the range of animals that have developed gradually over a long time)

3. for weighing scales [plural]   British English   scale American English a mchine for weighing people or objects:

a set of kitchen scales

some new        bathroom scales (=scales that you use to weigh yourself)


4. measuring system [countable]TM     a system of numbers that is used for measuring the amount, speed, quality etc of something

on a scale        

The earthquakes measured 7 on the Richter scale.

changes to the company's pay scale

Your performance will be judged         on a scale of     1          to         10.

We use a         sliding scale (=in which prices are not firmly fixed)        for charges.

5. measuring marks [countable]TM      a set of marks with regular spaces between them on a tool that is used for measuring, or on the side of a mathematical drawing:

a ruler with a metric scale

6. map/model [uncountable and countable]      the relationship between the size of a map, drawing, or model and the actual size of the place or thing that it represents:

a map with a scale of 1:250,000

to scale           

All our models are made to scale.

scale model/drawing etc (=one done using a strict scale)         

a scale drawing of the

7. music [countable]APM        a series of musical notes that become higher or lower, with fixed distances between each note:

the scale of G major

8. fish [countable usually plural]HB      one of the small flat pieces of skin that cover the bodies of fish, snakes etc

9. teeth [uncountable]   British EnglishHB         a white substance that forms on your teeth

10. water pipes [uncountable]  a white substance that forms around the inside of hot water pipes or containers in which water is boiled

11.  the scales fell from somebody's eyes         literary  used to say that someone suddenly realized something important



Richter scale

sliding scale



at the other end of the scale

bathroom scales

economies of scale

full scale

on a global/international/world scale

on a large/small/grand etc scale

on a scale

on a scale of ... to

scale model/drawing etc

scale of

sheer scale

the evolutionary scale

the scales fell from sb's eyes

the social scale

up/down the scale

at the opposite end of the scale/spectrum-

diatonic scale

huge scale

lavish scale

on a heroic scale/of heroic proportions

on an unprecedented scale

scale sth down/back

scale sth to sth

scale sth up- see scale, v

scale the heights

tip the balance/scales

tip the scales at sth


Words used with: scale


different, full, global, grand, huge, international, large, massive, national, sheer, sliding,

small, social, unprecedented


economy, model, pay, time, world


measure, tip


At the upper end of the scale is the , with tuition of over $9,000 a year.

Greg stood on the bathroom scale and looked in the mirror.

Hurricanes are graded on a scale from one to five, with five the strongest.

On a scale of one to ten, ten being best, his new movie is a two.

Rescue workers are trying to assess the scale of the disaster.

Scientists are only just beginning to realize the scale of the problem.

the scale on a thermometer

the F major scale

The map was drawn to a scale of one inch to the mile.

The researchers devised a scale to measure people's attitudes toward certain types of behavior.

The salary scale goes from $60,000 to $175,000.

We were not expecting a public response on such a scale.

sentences from books, newspapers, etc.

At the other end of the scale, good advice in these shops is sometimes very expensive.

Economies of scale and the use of computers were expected to reduce administrative costs.

How might we apply the lesson that these organizers learned on the much greater scale of an entire nation?

In order to ingratiate himself with the populace, he rebuilt the of  on a hitherto unprecedented scale.

Seven of their 1:20 scale models have been chosen for exhibition and two have been combined to provide the full-scale installation.

The association between echographic measurement and visual scales is a simple method of evaluating the relationship between the stomach and appetite.

There is one large pointed slightly rugose tentacle scale on each pore.

This guy tips the scale at 400 pounds.

how big something is

size • how big • scale • magnitude

a standard by which something is judged

standard • scale • criterion • benchmark • yardstick

having a big effect

big • major • considerable • great • huge/enormous/immense • tremendous • large scale/large-scale

 1          to climb to the top of something that is high and difficult to climb:

Rescuers had to scale a 300m cliff to reach the injured climber.

2          technical           to make writing or a picture the right size for a particular purpose

scale something to something   

The writing can be scaled to any size, depending on the paper.

3 scale the heights        to be extremely successful:

By the age of 21 he had already scaled the heights in the academic world.

scale something ↔ down/back phrasal verb

to reduce the amount or size of something:

The emergency aid programme has now been scaled down.

scale something ↔ up phrasal verb

to increase the amount or size of something [↪ decrease]:

Production at the factory is being scaled up.