sliding scale


Definition of sliding scale

1 : 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
2a : a system for raising or lowering tariffs in accord with price changes
b : 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

Players from the top 50 FIFA nations are considered for work permits, with a sliding scale of appearances required — from 30 percent of games over two years for the 1-10 teams to 75 percent for 31-50 teams. Rob Harris, The Seattle Times, "Post-Brexit bid to curb foreign player imports splits soccer," 21 Nov. 2018 If their pay is at or above that threshold, the department would provide relief on a sliding scale instead of full forgiveness. Danielle Douglas-gabriel,, "Judge rejects DeVos' interpretation of order about Corinthian student debt relief," 20 June 2018 Fortunately, some providers operate on a sliding scale with some or all of their clients. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "7 Ways to Find an Actually Affordable Therapist," 15 Feb. 2019 Services will be available to New Yorkers on a sliding scale. Katie Honan, WSJ, "New York City to Offer Expanded Health Care to Uninsured Locals," 8 Jan. 2019 Ad revenue will be split between participating retailers and Cooler Screens on a sliding scale, with each side’s take ranging from around 25% to 75%, Mr. Avakian said. Lara O’reilly, WSJ, "Walgreens Tests Digital Cooler Doors With Cameras to Target You With Ads," 11 Jan. 2019 Full Life Care: Payment options include Washington State Medicaid/Apple Health, private pay and sliding scale. Caitlin Flynn, The Seattle Times, "A Seattle program is making mental-health counseling more affordable," 16 Oct. 2018 So the government option should be based on the ability to pay based on a sliding scale, and the highest any America should have to pay for healthcare is 10 percent of their income. Holly Otterbein,, "A Q&A Larry Arata, a teacher who ran for Congress to fight the opioid crisis | #PA5," 14 May 2018 Those are set on a sliding scale, but the rate is 2% for people who earn more than 10,000 yuan ($1,441) a month. Shan Li, WSJ, "It’s Official: China’s E-Commerce King Is a Communist," 26 Nov. 2018

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

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First Known Use of sliding scale

1842, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for sliding scale

Last Updated

15 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for sliding scale

The first known use of sliding scale was in 1842

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More Definitions for sliding scale

sliding scale


English Language Learners Definition of sliding scale

: a system in which the amount that people are required to pay in fees, taxes, etc., changes according to different situations or conditions

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using a distributed computer network

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