scal·​able | \ˈskā-lə-bəl \

Definition of scalable 

1 : capable of being scaled

2 : capable of being easily expanded or upgraded on demand a scalable computer network

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Other Words from scalable

scalability \ˌskā-​lə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē \ noun

Examples of scalable in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

As well as the boost to speed, the hive-grid-machine has the advantages of being scalable and modular. James Vincent, The Verge, "Welcome to the automated warehouse of the future," 8 May 2018 Practical, hardworking, and responsible, the 4 vibration is focused on creating logical systems that can support scalable growth. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "The Basics of Numerology: How to Calculate Your Life Path and Destiny Numbers," 16 July 2018 SVP Miami will select high-impact, scalable socially minded ventures, both for- and non-profit, based in South Florida and provide them with up to $100,000 and pro-bono expert support over the course of several years. Rob Wile, miamiherald, "Got a social-minded venture? You'll want to apply to this," 11 June 2018 The design would support 52 electric vertical take-off and landing vehicles per hour, per module in a scalable framework that could facilitate more than 600 arrivals and departures and 4,000 people per hour by 2028. Andrew J. Hawkins, The Verge, "These Uber Air ‘Skyport’ concepts look straight out of Star Wars," 9 May 2018 But the technique could be more scalable than leading approaches for reconstructing sports in 3D, which require arrays of cameras around the pitch recording every angle. Edd Gent, Science | AAAS, "Watch artificial intelligence project a 3D soccer match on your kitchen table," 12 June 2018 The lengths of the humerus and radius bones in her arms were obtained from a photograph with a scalable object. Amy Mcrary, USA TODAY, "‘I think we found her’: Researcher says bones from Pacific island likely belong to Amelia Earhart," 8 Mar. 2018 The bigger scalable product architecture, or SPA, underpins the XC90 and XC60 SUVs and 90- and 60-series sedans and wagons. Mark Phelan, Detroit Free Press, "2019 Volvo XC40 SUV has wireless phone charging, carryout bag hook," 23 May 2018 There are many solutions that aren’t scalable right now. Whitney Eulich, The Christian Science Monitor, "Months after Maria, Puerto Ricans take recovery into their own hands," 7 May 2018

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

circa 1580, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

30 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for scalable

The first known use of scalable was circa 1580

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Financial Definition of scalability

What It Is

Scalability refers to a company's ability to increase its production profitably.

How It Works

Let's assume it costs Company XYZ $1 million to produce 1 million widgets per year ($1 per widget). This $1 million cost includes $500,000 of administrative, insurance and marketing expenses, which are generally fixed. If Company XYZ decides to produce 2 million widgets next year, its total production costs may only rise to $1.5 million ($0.75 per widget) because it can spread its fixed costs over more units. This means Company XYZ has scalability. Although Company XYZ's total costs increase from $1 million to $1.5 million, each widget becomes less expensive to produce and therefore more profitable.

The idea of scalability is based on economies of scale, which refers to the reduction of per-unit costs through an increase in production volume.

Why It Matters

Operational efficiencies create scalability. These efficiencies often are the result of division or specialization of labor, reorganization of key processes, the implementation of new technology, and bulk materials purchases.

Scalability is a huge competitive advantage. A lack of it can discourage new competitors from entering a market or eliminate smaller competitors. This is why it can lead to an oligopoly, where only a few companies produce the majority of an industry's output. Sometimes scalability can even lead one company to dominate an industry; this is called a natural monopoly.

Source: Investing Answers



English Language Learners Definition of scalable

: easy to make larger, more powerful, etc.

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Nglish: Translation of scalable for Spanish Speakers

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a knickknack or trinket

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