scaffolding

noun
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 Each segment is presented on the cell surface by a set of scaffolding molecules called human leukocyte antigens (HLAs) that differ among individuals. Esther Landhuis, Scientific American, 19 May 2022 Complex structures emerge from within what looks like bamboo scaffolding. Philip Kennicott, Washington Post, 17 May 2022 On a sunny Wednesday afternoon in downtown Anchorage, two Alaska Solar employees working on a scaffolding platform ratcheted down the final panel on a tall garage roof. Alex Demarban, Anchorage Daily News, 29 Apr. 2022 Obsolete companies have a rigid corporate scaffolding that stifles innovation, limits worker potential and hurts the company’s bottom line. Bryan Robinson, Forbes, 2 June 2022 Even an immense scaffolding covering the back of the building leading to the windows was left up, and not secured by police or barricades. Baltimore Sun, 18 May 2022 However, despite a neat action sequence atop scaffolding covering the Statue of Liberty, the film did poorly at the box office, and the adventure, alas, ended just as it was getting started. Mike Barnes, The Hollywood Reporter, 13 May 2022 The real scaffolding of the biography, for all its telling vignettes and historical context, is Tocqueville’s thought, above all Democracy in America. Jedediah Britton-purdy, The New Republic, 22 Apr. 2022 The ones doing the heavy lifting are the brave souls who ride up on the swing shelf, a roughly 30-foot wide, 3-foot deep scaffolding that is essentially an open-air elevator. New York Times, 25 Mar. 2021 See More

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.

First Known Use of scaffolding

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Buying Guide

Our Reviews team has selected the best interior paint.

Learn More About scaffolding

Time Traveler for scaffolding

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near scaffolding

scaffolder

scaffolding

scag

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for scaffolding

Last Updated

22 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Scaffolding.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/scaffolding. Accessed 29 Jun. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on scaffolding

Nglish: Translation of scaffolding for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of scaffolding for Arabic Speakers

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Which Word Does Not Belong?

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!