scaf·​fold·​ing | \ ˈska-fəl-diŋ How to pronounce scaffolding (audio) , -ˌfōl- \

Definition of scaffolding

1 : a system of scaffolds … photographers were allowed, three at a time, to ascend the elaborate scaffolding— Eric Scigliano also : material for scaffolds
2 : a support system or structure likened to a system of scaffolds … in his readings and talks with authors, he is seeking theoretical scaffolding for his actions …— John F. Dickerson especially, education : a system or framework of support provided by an instructor to help a student reach the next level of learning By identifying the next skills just above the child's current skill level, then providing scaffolding (or assistance) in a way that helps the child display the identified skills accurately, and then fading out the need for scaffolding, you can help a child to learn new things and become more independent. — Heather Gilmore Teachers should look for tools that help them easily adjust instructional scaffolding from assignment to assignment and from student to student—allowing them to meet students where they are as they learn to write for authentic audiences. — Troy Hicks

Examples of scaffolding in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The three pillars of scaffolding are support, structure and encouragement. Dr. Harold S. Koplewicz, USA TODAY, "What is scaffold parenting? It could be the key to help kids adjust to post-pandemic life," 18 Feb. 2021 Another, with an arm full of cables, walked up the scaffolding stairs to continue the rebuilding of a sophisticated electrical system that seems more suited to a Formula One car than a sailboat. New York Times, "The Resurrection of American Magic," 28 Jan. 2021 The two scaffolding structures covering another set of restaurants are decorated with art that celebrates the area’s history. Valeria Ricciulli, Curbed, "A Look Inside the New Uber Eats–Funded Streeteries in Harlem," 19 Jan. 2021 Rioters swarmed, battering the officers with metal pipes peeled from scaffolding and a pole with an American flag attached, police said. Peter Hermann, Anchorage Daily News, "Beaten with their own clubs, choked by bear spray: How battered D.C. police made a stand against the Capitol mob," 15 Jan. 2021 According to the release from BGE, window washing scaffolding was compromised and a window washing crew was pulled to safety by the fire department. Sheena Jones, CNN, "Nine critically injured in Baltimore building explosion, partial roof collapse," 23 Dec. 2020 The strongest episode is a meandering investigation into the history and purpose of construction scaffolding. Mark Lamster, Dallas News, "Architecture critic Mark Lamster: Sorry, Dallas, but boring works here," 29 Jan. 2021 In anticipation of Biden’s Inauguration, bleachers had been erected there, and the sides of the scaffolding were wrapped in ripstop tarpaulin. Luke Mogelson, The New Yorker, "Among the Insurrectionists," 15 Jan. 2021 Climbing over a low fence, several Proud Boys and men in red maga hats ripped down the sign and pried off boards from its scaffolding to use as weapons, eliciting wild cheers. Luke Mogelson, The New Yorker, "Among the Insurrectionists," 15 Jan. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'scaffolding.' 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 scaffolding

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

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Statistics for scaffolding

Last Updated

22 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Scaffolding.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Mar. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of scaffolding

: the metal poles and wooden boards that are used to build or support a scaffold (sense 1)

More from Merriam-Webster on scaffolding

Nglish: Translation of scaffolding for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of scaffolding for Arabic Speakers

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