sca·​lene | \ ˈskā-ˌlēn How to pronounce scalene (audio) , skā-ˈlēn \

Definition of scalene

of a triangle
: having the three sides of unequal length — see triangle illustration

Examples of scalene in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The elliptical motion of those legs, combined with its scalene triangle body shape, given the machine inherent stability. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "This Robot Doesn't Need Fancy Sensors to Run," 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, "Teaching Math to People Who Think They Hate It," 6 Oct. 2014

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'scalene.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of scalene

1734, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for scalene

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about scalene

Time Traveler for scalene

Time Traveler

The first known use of scalene was in 1734

See more words from the same year

Statistics for scalene

Cite this Entry

“Scalene.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Sep. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for scalene


sca·​lene | \ ˈskā-ˌlēn, skā-ˈ How to pronounce scalene (audio) \

Medical Definition of scalene

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: of, relating to, or being a scalenus muscle



Medical Definition of scalene (Entry 2 of 2)

: scalenus

called also scalene muscle

Comments on scalene

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Vocabulary Quiz Returns!

  • stylized drawing of woman pole vaulting across gap to get trophy
  • Which is a synonym of fuliginous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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