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So hot as to scald the skin.

SCALE, n. [Sax. scale, sceale; D. schaal, a scale, a bowl, saucer or dish, and a shell, uniting the Sax. scale and scell; G. schale, a scale or balance, a dish, bowl, shell, peel or paring; Dan. skal, a shell; skaler, to shell, peel or pare; skiel, a fish scale; Sw. skal, a shell; Fr. ecaille; ecailler, to scale or peel; ecale, a shell; ecaler, to shell; echelle, a scale or ladder; It. scaglia, the scale of a fish; scala, a ladder; L. id., Sp. escala. Scale, a shell and a dish, is probably from peeling or paring, that is, separating; but whether a simple or compound word, (es-cal, ex-cal,) I do not know. If the sense is to strip, it coincides with the Gr. σχολαω, to spoil.]

  1. The dish of a balance; and hence, the balance itself, or whole instrument; as, to turn the scale. Longtime in even scale / The battle hung. – Milton. But in general, we use the plural, scales, for the whole instrument. The scales are turn'd; her kindness weighs no more / Now than my vows. – Waller.
  2. The sign of the balance or Libra, in the zodiac. – Creech.
  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. Sharp. 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. – Ure.
  4. A ladder; series of steps; means of ascending. [L. scala.] – Addison.
  5. The act of storming a place by mounting the walls on ladders; an escalade, or scalade. – Milton.
  6. A mathematical instrument of wood or metal, on which are marked lines 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 gammut; 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. – Encyc.
  10. Any thing graduated or marked with degrees at equal distances.

SCALE, v.i.

To separate and come off in thin layers or lamins. The old shells of the lobster scale off. – Bacon.

SCALE, v.t. [It. scalare, from scala, a ladder.]

  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. – Spenser.
  2. [from scale, a balance.] To measure; to compare; to weigh. Scaling his present bearing with his past. – Shak.
  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 scal'd, and the earth made even. – Burnet.
  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. – Mar. Dict.

SCAL'ED, pp.

  1. Ascended by ladders or steps; cleared of scales; pared; scattered.
  2. adj. Having scales like a fish; squamous; as, a scaled snake.


Destitute of scales. – S. L. Mitchill.

SCA-LENE', or SCA-LE'NOUS, a. [Gr. σκαληνος, oblique, unequal, allied, probably to σκολιος; G. schel, schiel, D. scheel, squinting; Dan. skieler, to squint.]

A scalene triangle, is one whose sides and angles are unequal.


A scalene triangle.


One who scales.

SCA'LI-NESS, n. [from scaly.]

The state of being scaly; roughness.

SCAL'ING, ppr.

  1. Ascending by ladders or steps; storming.
  2. Stripping of scales.
  3. Peeling; paring.


A ladder made for enabling troops to scale a wall.

SCALL, n. [See Scald and Scald-head.]

Scab; scabbiness; leprosy. It is a dry scall, even a leprosy on the head. Lev. xiii.

SCAL'LION, n. [It. scalogno; L. ascalonia; Fr. echalote, whence our shalot; so named probably from its coats, shell, scale.]

A plant, the Allium Ascalonicum, which grows about Ascalon in Palestine. It is the wildest of all the cultivated species of the garlic and onion genus. It is propagated by means of the cloves of its bulbs.

SCAL'LOP, n. [This is from the root of shell, scale; coinciding with scalp, D. schulp, a shell.]

  1. A testaceous molluscum called pecten. The shell is bivalvular, the hinge toothless, having a small ovated hollow. The great scallop is rugged and imbricated with scales, grows to a large size, and in some countries is taken and barreled for market. – Encyc.
  2. A recess or curving of the edge of any thing, like the segment of a circle; written also Scollop.

SCAL'LOP, v.t.

To mark or cut the edge or border of any thing into segments of circles. – Gray.


Cut at the edge or border into segments of circles.


Cutting the edge into segments of circles.

SCALP, n. [D. schelp or schulp, a shell. The German has hirnschale, brain-shell. See Scale. But qu. the Ch. Syr. and Ar. קלף, to peel, to bark, and L. scalpo.]

  1. The skin of the top of the head; as, a hairless scalp. – Shak.
  2. The skin of the top of the head cut or torn off. A scalp among the Indians of America is a trophy of victory.

SCALP, v.t.

To deprive of the scalp or integuments of the head. – Sharp.


Deprived of the skin of the head.

SCALP'EL, n. [L. scalpellum, from scalpo, to scrape.]

In surgery, a knife used in anatomical dissections and surgical operations. – Encyc.


An instrument of surgery, used in scraping foul and carious bones; a raspatory. – Encyc. Parr.


Depriving of the skin of the top of the head.


A knife used by savages in scalping their prisoners. – Cooper.