KJV Dictionary Definition: scale


SCALE, n. L. id. If the sense is to strip, it coincides with the Gr. to spoil.

1. The dish of a balance; and hence, the balance itself, or whole instrument; as, to turn the scale.

Long time in even scale the battle hung.

But in general, we use the plural, scales, for the whole instrument.

The scales are turn'd; her kindness weights no more now than my vows.

2. The sign of the balance or Libra, in the zodiac.

3. The small shell or crust which composes a part of the covering of a fish; and hence, any thin layer or leaf exfoliated or separated; a thin lamin; as scales of iron or of bone.

The scales of fish consist of alternate layers of membrane and phosphate of lime. The scales of serpents are composed of a horny membrane, without the calcarious phosphate.

4. A ladder; series of steps; means of ascending. L. scala.

5. The art of storming a place by mounting the wall on ladders; an escalade, or scalade.

6. A mathematical instrument of wood or metal, on which are marked line and figures for the purpose of measuring distances, extent or proportions; as a plain scale; a diagonal scale.

7. Regular gradation; a series rising by steps or degrees like those of a ladder. Thus we speak of the scale of being, in which man occupies a higher rank than brutes, and angels a higher rank than man.

8. Any instrument, figure or scheme, graduated for the purpose of measuring extent or proportions as a map drawn by a scale of half an inch to a league.

9. In music, a gamut; a diagram; or a series of lines and spaces rising one above another, on which notes are placed; or a scale consists of the regular gradations of sounds. A scale may be limited to an octave, called by the Greeks a tetrachord, or it may extend to the compass of any voice or instrument.

10. Any thing graduated or marked with degrees at equal distances.

SCALE, v.t.

1. To climb, as by a ladder; to ascend by steps; and applied to the walls of a fortified place, to mount in assault or storm.

Oft have I scal'd the craggy oak.

2. from scale, a balance. To measure; to compare; to weight.

3. from scale, the covering of a fish. to strip or clear of scales; as, to scale a fish.

4. To take off in thin lamins or scales.

5. To pare off a surface.

If all the mountains were scaled, and the earth made even -

6. In the north of England, to spread, as manure or loose substances; also, to disperse; to waste.

7. In gunnery, to clean the inside of a cannon by the explosion of a small quantity of powder.

SCALE, v.i. To separate and come off in thin layers or lamins.

The old shells of the lobster scale off.


SCA'LED, pp.

1. Ascended by ladders or steps; cleared of scales; pared; scattered.

2. a. Having scales like a fish; squamous; as a scaled snake.


SCA'LING, ppr.

1. Ascending by ladders or steps; storming.

2. Stripping of scales.

3. Peeling; paring.