sliding scale


: a wage scale geared to the selling price of the product or to the consumer price index but usually guaranteeing a minimum below which the wage will not fall
: a system for raising or lowering tariffs in accord with price changes
: a flexible scale (as of fees or subsidies) adjusted to the needs or income of individuals
the sliding scale of medical fees

Examples of sliding scale in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Commissioners have also adopted a sliding scale, for building height. Sherry Greenfield, Baltimore Sun, 4 Mar. 2024 If travelers want to avoid the sliding scale of fees, there are a few key points to pay attention to in JetBlue’s new policy. Jessica Puckett, Condé Nast Traveler, 3 Apr. 2024 See all Example Sentences for sliding scale 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'sliding scale.' 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

1842, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of sliding scale was in 1842

Dictionary Entries Near sliding scale

Cite this Entry

“Sliding scale.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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