sca·​lene ˈskā-ˌlēn How to pronounce scalene (audio)
of a triangle
: having the three sides of unequal length see triangle illustration

Examples of scalene in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Surgery for the injury involves removal of the first rib and two small scalene muscles and scar tissue around the affected nerves, according to the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Matt Kawahara, San Francisco Chronicle, 7 Apr. 2021 The third leg of the scalene triangle is the capped I-91. Tom Condon,, 19 Mar. 2021 There's enough punch up and down the tach to regularly exercise the traction control as well as your scalene muscles. Scott Oldham, Car and Driver, 2 Oct. 2020 The elliptical motion of those legs, combined with its scalene triangle body shape, given the machine inherent stability. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, 3 May 2017 Using an exercise from the DAoM book Games and Puzzles, Strogatz handed each of his students a pair of scissors, as well as a piece of paper with a scalene triangle drawn in the middle of it. Jessica Lahey, The Atlantic, 6 Oct. 2014

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'scalene.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Late Latin scalenus, from Greek skalēnos, literally, uneven; perhaps akin to Greek skolios crooked, skelos leg — more at isosceles

First Known Use

1734, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of scalene was in 1734

Dictionary Entries Near scalene

Cite this Entry

“Scalene.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


sca·​lene ˈskā-ˌlēn How to pronounce scalene (audio)
: having sides that are each a different length
a scalene triangle

Medical Definition


1 of 2 adjective
: of, relating to, or being a scalenus muscle


2 of 2 noun
: scalenus

called also scalene muscle

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