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Definition of "scale" []

  • One of the many small platelike dermal or epidermal structures that characteristically form the external covering of fishes, reptiles, and certain mammals. (noun)
  • A similar part, such as one of the minute structures overlapping to form the covering on the wings of butterflies and moths. (noun)
  • Pathology A dry thin flake of epidermis shed from the skin. (noun)
  • A small thin piece. (noun)
  • Botany A small, thin, usually dry, often appressed plant structure, such as any of the protective leaves that cover a tree bud or the bract that subtends a flower in a sedge spikelet. (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "scale" in a sentence
  • "For example: ten spaces on the vernier being made equal to nine on the scale, each vernier space is one tenth less than a scale space; and if the first line or division of the vernier agree exactly with any line of the scale, the next line of the vernier must be one tenth of a tenth (or one hundredth) of an inch from agreement with the next _scale_ division; the following vernier line must be two hundredths out, and so on: therefore, the number of such differences (from the next tenth on the scale) at which a vernier line agrees with a scale line, when set, is the number of hundredths to be added to the said tenth; (in a common barometer, reading only to hundredths of an inch)."
  • "But until then, the pain scale is all we have and should be used for legal purposes."
  • "The set, smaller in scale, is a progressively decaying wonder that is intact as is La Follie's megalomaniacal attention-grabbing theatrics."