Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Topic: MEASUREMENT


scale

1 noun
     
scale1 S3 W2
1

size/level

[singular, uncountable] the size or level of something, or the amount that something is happening
scale of
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 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)
scale
3

for weighing

scales

[plural] British English scale American EnglishDH a machine 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 Eiffel Tower
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
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