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).
a whole range of different types of people or things, from the lowest level to the highest:
range[countable usually singular]
Some rural schools have 50 pupils, while at the other end of the scale are city schools with nearly 5,000 pupils.
a machine for weighing people or objects:
for weighing[plural] British English scale American EnglishDH
a set of kitchen scales
some new bathroom scales (=scales that you use to weigh yourself)
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.
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
the relationship between the size of a map, drawing, or model and the actual size of the place or thing that it represents:
map/model[uncountable and countable]
a map with a scale of 1:250,000
All our models are made to scale.
scale model/drawing etc (=one done using a strict scale)
a scale drawing of the Eiffel Tower
a series of musical notes that become higher or lower, with fixed distances between each note:
the scale of G major
one of the small flat pieces of skin that cover the bodies of fish, snakes etc
fish[countable usually plural]HB
a white substance that forms on your teeth
teeth[uncountable] British EnglishHB
a white substance that forms around the inside of hot water pipes or containers in which water is boiled
used to say that someone suddenly realized something important