scaf·fold | \ˈska-fəld 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

Pors then seeded this scaffold with immature human or mouse follicles and grafted the complex into female mice. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian, "How Artificial Ovaries Could Expand Fertility Options For Chemo Patients," 5 July 2018 Rotator cuff repairs now include use of specialized grafts laid on top of the tendon to create a scaffold to the bone. Trihealth,, "Don’t shoulder the pain," 10 July 2018 Next to it, the blue scaffolds of an indoor crane resemble a launchpad gantry. Sarah Scoles, WIRED, "Inside the Test Chamber for NASA's Astronaut Vehicle Double," 12 July 2018 The diagonal beams are like a scaffold that holds in place the condominiums and offices and elevator stacks within. John King,, "New nimble, frisky SoMa tower fits neatly into surroundings," 6 July 2018 My brother perished on the scaffold, my two sisters departed their painful lives after many years spent languishing in prison, and my two uncles didn’t leave enough to pay for the four planks of their coffins. Alan Riding, New York Times, "The French Revolution Made Him an Exile, and a Writer," 25 May 2018 The department has a limited arsenal of tools to prod owners into action, including fines, ordering scaffolds, and, in extreme cases sending in a city contractor to do the repairs at the owner’s expense. Sarah Maslin Nir, New York Times, "Columbia University Is Cited for a Cracked Building Facade, Inviting Memories of a 1979 Death," 4 June 2018 But screens still need scaffolds, and the communal ideal remains central to Los Angeles’s vision of its future self. Alexandra Lange, Curbed, "Lessons from LA’s 1984 Summer Olympics," 17 May 2018 One man in his 50s was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where his condition was stabilized, after he was hit by one of the cables from the scaffold in the incident just before 2:10 p.m., said Larry Merritt, a Fire Department spokesman. Tony Briscoe,, "Man hurt, Michigan Avenue closed just north of Millennium Park after scaffold accident," 8 May 2018

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.

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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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Statistics for scaffold

Last Updated

1 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for scaffold

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

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More Definitions for scaffold



English Language Learners Definition of scaffold

: a temporary or movable platform or structure on which a person stands or sits while working high above the floor or ground

: a platform or structure on which criminals are killed by being hanged or beheaded


scaf·fold | \ˈska-fəld \

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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Comments on scaffold

What made you want to look up scaffold? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to reject or criticize sharply

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