[scale] n [ME, bowl, scale of a balance, fr. ON skal; akin to ON skel shell--more at shell] (14c) 1 a: either pan or tray of a balance b: a beam that is supported freely in the center and has two pans of equal weight suspended from its ends--usu. used in pl.
2: an instrument or machine for weighing
scale vb scaled ; scal.ing vt (1603): to weigh in scales ~ vi: to have a specified weight on scales scale n [ME, fr. MF escale, of Gmc origin; akin to OE scealu shell, husk--more at shell] (14c) 1 a: a small, flattened, rigid, and definitely circumscribed plate forming part of the external body covering esp. of a fish b: a small thin plate suggesting a fish scale "~s of mica" "the ~s on a moth's wing" c: the scaly covering of a scaled animal
2: a small thin dry lamina shed (as in many skin diseases) from the skin
3: a thin coating, layer, or incrustation: a: a usu. black scaly coating of oxide forming on the surface of a metal (as iron) when it is heated for processing b: a hard incrustation usu. rich in sulfate of calcium that is deposited on the inside of a vessel (as a boiler) in which water is heated
4. a: a modified leaf protecting a seed plant bud before expansion b: a thin, membranous, chaffy, or woody bract
5. a: any of the small overlapping usu. metal pieces forming the outer surface of scale armor b: scale armor
6. a: scale insect b: infestation with or disease caused by scale insects -- scaled adj -- scale.less adj scale vb scaled ; scal.ing vt (15c) 1: to remove the scale or scales from (as by scraping) "~ a fish"
2: to take off in thin layers or scales
3: to form scale on "hard water ~s a boiler"
4: to throw (as a thin flat stone) so that the edge cuts the air or so that it skips on water: skim ~ vi 1: to separate and come off in scales: flake
2: to shed scales "scaling skin"
3: to become encrusted with scale scale vb scaled ; scal.ing [ME, fr. scale] vt (14c) 1 a: to attack with or take by means of scaling ladders "~ a castle wall" b: to climb up or reach by means of a ladder c: to reach the highest point of: surmount
2. a: to arrange in a graduated series "~ a test" b (1): to measure by or as if by a scale (2): to measure or estimate the sound content of (as logs) c: to pattern, make, regulate, set, or estimate according to some rate or standard: adjust "a production schedule scaled to actual need"--often used with down or up "~ down imports" ~ vi 1: to climb by or as if by a ladder
2: to rise in a graduated series
3: measure scale n [ME, fr. LL scala ladder, staircase, fr. L scalae, pl., stairs, rungs, ladder; akin to L scandere to climb--more at scan] (15c) 1 a obs: ladder b archaic: a means of ascent
2: a graduated series of musical tones ascending or descending in order of pitch according to a specified scheme of their intervals
3: something graduated esp. when used as a measure or rule: as a: a series of marks or points at known intervals used to measure distances (as the height of the mercury in a thermometer) b: an indication of the relationship between the distances on a map and the corresponding actual distances c: ruler 3
4. a: a graduated series or scheme of rank or order "a ~ of taxation" b: minimum wage 2
5. a: a proportion between two sets of dimensions (as between those of a drawing and its original) b: a distinctive relative size, extent, or degree "projects done on a large ~"
6: a graded series of tests or of performances used in rating individual intelligence or achievement -- scale adj -- to scale : according to the proportions of an established scale of measurement "floor plans drawn to scale" scale n [scale] (ca. 1587) 1 obs: escalade
2: an estimate of the amount of sound lumber in logs or standing timber