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In my view, the Christian religion is the most important and one of the first things in which all children, under a free government ought to be instructed... No truth is more evident to my mind than that the Christian religion must be the basis of any government intended to secure the rights and privileges of a free people.
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1828 Noah Webster Dictionary
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1828.mshaffer.comWord [scale]

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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.



Evolution (or devolution) of this word [scale]

1828 Webster1844 Webster1913 Webster

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.

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.

Scale
  1. The dish of a balance; hence, the balance itself; an instrument or machine for weighing; as, to turn the scale; -- chiefly used in the plural when applied to the whole instrument or apparatus for weighing. Also used figuratively.

    Long time in even scale
    The battle hung.
    Milton.

    The scales are turned; her kindness weighs no more
    Now than my vows.
    Waller.

  2. To weigh or measure according to a scale] to measure; also, to grade or vary according to a scale or system.

    Scaling his present bearing with his past. Shak.

    To scale, or scale down, a debt, wages, etc., to reduce a debt, etc., according to a fixed ratio or scale. [U.S.]

  3. One of the small, thin, membranous, bony or horny pieces which form the covering of many fishes and reptiles, and some mammals, belonging to the dermal part of the skeleton, or dermoskeleton. See Cycloid, Ctenoid, and Ganoid.

    Fish that, with their fins and shining scales,
    Glide under the green wave.
    Milton.

  4. To strip or clear of scale or scales; as, to scale a fish; to scale the inside of a boiler.
  5. To separate and come off in thin layers or laminæ]; as, some sandstone scales by exposure.

    Those that cast their shell are the lobster and crab; the old skins are found, but the old shells never; so it is likely that they scale off. Bacon.

  6. A ladder; a series of steps; a means of ascending.

    [Obs.]
  7. To climb by a ladder, or as if by a ladder; to ascend by steps or by climbing; to clamber up; as, to scale the wall of a fort.

    Oft have I scaled the craggy oak. Spenser.

  8. To lead up by steps; to ascend.

    [Obs.]

    Satan from hence, now on the lower stair,
    That scaled by steps of gold to heaven-gate,
    Looks down with wonder.
    Milton.

  9. The sign or constellation Libra.

    Platform scale. See under Platform.

  10. Hence, any layer or leaf of metal or other material, resembling in size and thinness the scale of a fish; as, a scale of iron, of bone, etc.
  11. To take off in thin layers or scales, as tartar from the teeth; to pare off, as a surface.

    "If all the mountains were scaled, and the earth made even." T. Burnet.
  12. To separate; to scatter.

    [Scot. *** Prov. Eng.]
  13. Hence, anything graduated, especially when employed as a measure or rule, or marked by lines at regular intervals.

    Specifically: (a)
  14. One of the small scalelike structures covering parts of some invertebrates, as those on the wings of Lepidoptera and on the body of Thysanura; the elytra of certain annelids. See Lepidoptera.
  15. To scatter; to spread.

    [Scot. *** Prov. Eng.]
  16. Gradation; succession of ascending and descending steps and degrees; progressive series; scheme of comparative rank or order; as, a scale of being.

    There is a certain scale of duties . . . which for want of studying in right order, all the world is in confusion. Milton.

  17. A scale insect. (See below.)
  18. To clean, as the inside of a cannon, by the explosion of a small quantity of powder.

    Totten.
  19. Relative dimensions, without difference in proportion of parts; size or degree of the parts or components in any complex thing, compared with other like things; especially, the relative proportion of the linear dimensions of the parts of a drawing, map, model, etc., to the dimensions of the corresponding parts of the object that is represented; as, a map on a scale of an inch to a mile.

    Scale of chords, a graduated scale on which are given the lengths of the chords of arcs from 0° to 90° in a circle of given radius, -- used in measuring given angles and in plotting angles of given numbers of degrees.

  20. A small appendage like a rudimentary leaf, resembling the scales of a fish in form, and often in arrangement; as, the scale of a bud, of a pine cone, and the like. The name is also given to the chaff on the stems of ferns.
  21. The thin metallic side plate of the handle of a pocketknife. See Illust. of Pocketknife.
  22. An incrustation deposit on the inside of a vessel in which water is heated, as a steam boiler.
  23. The thin oxide which forms on the surface of iron forgings. It consists essentially of the magnetic oxide, Fe3O4. Also, a similar coating upon other metals.

    Covering scale (Zoöl.), a hydrophyllium. -- Ganoid scale. (Zoöl.) See under Ganoid. -- Scale armor (Mil.), armor made of small metallic scales overlapping, and fastened upon leather or cloth. -- Scale beetle (Zoöl.), the tiger beetle. -- Scale carp (Zoöl.), a carp having normal scales. -- Scale insect (Zoöl.), any one of numerous species of small hemipterous insects belonging to the family Coccidæ, in which the females, when adult, become more or less scalelike in form. They are found upon the leaves and twigs of various trees and shrubs, and often do great damage to fruit trees. See Orange scale,under Orange. -- Scale moss (Bot.), any leafy-stemmed moss of the order Hepaticæ; -- so called from the small imbricated scalelike leaves of most of the species. See Hepatica, 2, and Jungermannia.

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Scale

SCALE, noun [Latin 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. [Latin 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, verb transitive

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, verb intransitive To separate and come off in thin layers or lamins.

The old shells of the lobster scale off.

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Word of the Day

importance

IMPORT'ANCE, n.

1. Weight; consequence; a bearing on some interest; that quality of any thing by which it may affect a measure, interest or result. The education of youth is of great importance to a free government. A religious education is of infinite importance to every human being.

2. Weight or consequence in the scale of being.

Thy own importance know.

Nor bound thy narrow views to things below.

3. Weight or consequence in self-estimation.

He believes himself a man of importance.

4. Thing implied; matter; subject; importunity. [In these senses, obsolete.]

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layman

LA'YMAN, n. la'man. [lay and man.]

1. A man who is not a clergyman; one of the laity or people, distinct from the clergy.

2. An image used by painters in contriving attitudes.

3. A lay-clerk.

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