scalier; scaliest
1
a
: covered with, composed of, or rich in scale or scales
b
: flaky
2
: of or relating to scaly animals
3
: despicable, poor
a regular scaly old shopCharles Dickens
4
: infested with scale insects
scaly fruit
scaliness noun

Examples of scaly in a Sentence

His skin was dry and scaly. the snake's scaly skin was dry to the touch
Recent Examples on the Web Something on the tree — a 3-foot-long, scaly creature — caught their attention. Aspen Pflughoeft, Miami Herald, 9 May 2024 Medically reviewed by Susan Bard, MD Psoriasis is an autoimmune skin disease that can cause a scaly rash anywhere on your body, including your scalp. Daley Quinn, Verywell Health, 3 May 2024 Today, our menageries range from furry and scaly friends to even invertebrates like giant spiders. Katie Liu, Discover Magazine, 2 May 2024 The movie velociraptors are portrayed as being 6 feet tall with scaly skin and incredibly fast, but real velociraptors were about as big as a medium-sized dog, measuring approximately 1.6 feet high and between 4.8 and 6.8 feet across, scientists say. Mary Kekatos, ABC News, 26 Apr. 2024 Symptoms Ichthyosis vulgaris typically causes thick, scaly skin patches, especially on the legs. Karyn Repinski, Health, 19 Apr. 2024 Her green dress summons the illusion that Björk is a scaly creature, one who breathes through gills and uses a tail to propel herself through lakes, rivers and oceans. Myriam Gurba, Los Angeles Times, 15 Feb. 2024 High up in the mountains of Colombia, a scaly creature balanced its 2-foot-long body on a branch. Aspen Pflughoeft, Miami Herald, 14 Feb. 2024 Because reptiles are our evolutionary predecessors, some researchers long believed that this instinctual part of the brain was the only part that originated with our scaly ancestors — and that without human-like brain structures, reptiles didn’t have the capacity for emotions at all. Lily Carey, Discover Magazine, 8 Apr. 2024

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

Word History

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of scaly was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near scaly

Cite this Entry

“Scaly.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/scaly. Accessed 21 May. 2024.

Kids Definition

scaly

adjective
scalier; scaliest
1
a
: covered with, composed of, or resembling scale or scales
b
: flaky sense 2
scaly skin
2
: infested with scale insects
scaly fruit

Medical Definition

scaly

adjective
scalier; scaliest
: covered with or composed of scale or scales
dry scaly skin
scaliness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on scaly

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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