scaf·​fold | \ ˈska-fəld How to pronounce scaffold (audio) also -ˌfōld \

Definition of scaffold

1a : a temporary or movable platform for workers (such as bricklayers, painters, or miners) to stand or sit on when working at a height above the floor or ground
b : a platform on which a criminal is executed (as by hanging or beheading)
c : a platform at a height above ground or floor level
2 : a supporting framework

Examples of scaffold in a Sentence

The condemned man was led to the scaffold.
Recent Examples on the Web After assembling the scaffold, Stebbing had gotten to work, donning ear protectors and firing up his chain saw. Washington Post, 18 Apr. 2022 The process of culturing the thymus clears any of the donor's mature immune cells, leaving a scaffold of a thymus for the recipient to develop their own immune cells through. Tasnim Ahmed, CNN, 10 Mar. 2022 The staging, by director Moisés Kaufman, can often feel like a churning exercise in traffic control, with all or most of the sizable ensemble cluttered onto designer Allen Moyer’s rotating black-scaffold set. Naveen Kumar, Variety, 3 Apr. 2022 Initially some of them argued that DNA, in addition to its informational content, serves as a scaffold that determines the size of a cell’s nucleus. Douglas Fox, Scientific American, 1 Feb. 2022 Nineteen white men later crammed under the scaffold to be photographed with his body. Janine Latus, Smithsonian Magazine, 28 Feb. 2022 To create something that looks like a steak or a chop, some companies use an edible scaffold that the cells can attach to. New York Times, 15 Feb. 2022 For people without solid structures of existential certainty, the predictable nature of the interlocking cosmic clocks of astrology can provide a scaffold upon which to build meaning, purpose, and focus. Diana Rose Harper, Wired, 5 Jan. 2022 The craft will need to deploy a large scaffold structure to support a sunscreen that shields it from heat and light, followed by a five-layer Kapton sunscreen. Justin Bachman, Anchorage Daily News, 24 Dec. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'scaffold.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of scaffold

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for scaffold

Middle English, from Anglo-French scaffald, alteration of Old French eschaafauz, escafaut, alteration of chaafaut, from Vulgar Latin *catafalicum — more at catafalque

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The first known use of scaffold was in the 14th century

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Cite this Entry

“Scaffold.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Jun. 2022.

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More Definitions for scaffold


scaf·​fold | \ ˈska-fəld How to pronounce scaffold (audio) \

Kids Definition of scaffold

1 : a raised platform built as a support for workers and their tools and materials
2 : a platform on which executions take place


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