noun (1)
\ ˈskōp How to pronounce scope (audio) \

Definition of scope

 (Entry 1 of 4)

2 : space or opportunity for unhampered motion, activity, or thought
3 : extent of treatment, activity, or influence
4 : range of operation: such as
a : the range of a logical operator : a string in predicate calculus that is governed by a quantifier
b : a grammatical constituent that determines the interpretation of a predicate or quantifier


noun (2)

Definition of scope (Entry 2 of 4)

1 : any of various instruments for viewing: such as
c : a telescope mounted on a firearm for use as a sight


scoped; scoping

Definition of scope (Entry 3 of 4)

transitive verb

: to look at especially for the purpose of evaluation usually used with outEunice and I … strutted down the aisles, pretending we were looking for somewhere to sit. Really we were just scoping the place out to see who was there.— Helene CooperWherever you go, scope out the situation carefully before you take off your dog's leash.— Donna-Lynn MusgraveIt abuts Wagner Park, where at twilight people watch softball and scope out the local talent.— Rob Spillman
2a : to view (something) with a telescope … atop a small hill that once held a mortar battery, two urban park rangers and twenty-five or so shivering visitors scoped the sky.— Ian Frazier If scoping the stars isn't your thing, the ship also offers a rich array of on-board speakers, wine tastings, golf simulations and a casino to keep you busy.The Plainsman (Auburn University, Alabama)
b : to examine with an endoscope and especially an arthroscope Players on every pro team have been scoped, mostly their knees (about 80%) but also their shoulders, elbows, wrists.— Kostya Kennedy He went to the hospital with the thought that the knee would be scoped, a simple procedure, and he would be back in the lineup in about 10 days.— Leigh Montville
3 : to equip with a scope a scoped rifle

Definition of -scope (Entry 4 of 4)

: means (such as an instrument) for viewing or observing endoscope spectroscope

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Choose the Right Synonym for scope

Noun (1)

range, gamut, compass, sweep, scope, orbit mean the extent that lies within the powers of something (as to cover or control). range is a general term indicating the extent of one's perception or the extent of powers, capacities, or possibilities. the entire range of human experience gamut suggests a graduated series running from one possible extreme to another. a performance that ran the gamut of emotions compass implies a sometimes limited extent of perception, knowledge, or activity. your concerns lie beyond the narrow compass of this study sweep suggests extent, often circular or arc-shaped, of motion or activity. the book covers the entire sweep of criminal activity scope is applicable to an area of activity, predetermined and limited, but somewhat flexible. as time went on, the scope of the investigation widened orbit suggests an often circumscribed range of activity or influence within which forces work toward accommodation. within that restricted orbit they tried to effect social change

First Known Use of scope

Noun (1)

circa 1555, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun (2)

1872, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1955, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for scope

Noun (1)

Italian scopo purpose, goal, from Greek skopos; akin to Greek skeptesthai to watch, look at — more at spy

Noun (2)



perhaps from scope entry 2

Noun combining form

New Latin -scopium, from Greek -skopion; akin to Greek skeptesthai

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Learn More about scope

Time Traveler for scope

Time Traveler

The first known use of scope was circa 1555

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Statistics for scope

Cite this Entry

“Scope.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for scope


\ ˈskōp How to pronounce scope (audio) \

Kids Definition of scope

1 : space or opportunity for action or thought
2 : the area or amount covered, reached, or viewed That subject is beyond the scope of this book.


\ ˈskōp How to pronounce scope (audio) \

Medical Definition of scope

: any of various instruments (as an arthroscope, endoscope, or microscope) for viewing or observing

Other Words from scope

scope transitive verb scoped; scoping

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Comments on scope

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