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 Many employers are offering free access to therapists as part of their employee benefit plans, and many communities have mental health centers with sliding scale fees. Sandee Lamotte, CNN, "Take stock of your mental health during the pandemic (and what to do next)," 22 May 2020 Some of the restaurants serve their full or partial menus in addition to a High Road Kitchens option; Namu Stonepot in San Francisco and Julia’s Vegetarian Restaurant in Monterey are only selling dishes using the sliding scale model. Los Angeles Times, "New project High Road Kitchens helps restaurants provide food on a sliding scale," 1 May 2020 For screening, uninsured persons will pay a sliding scale fee ranging from $20 to $55 based on income and household size. Yvette Orozco, Houston Chronicle, "Brazoria County opens free testing site at fairgrounds," 21 Apr. 2020 For one, Planned Parenthood offers sliding scale fees and often works with uninsured patients, a population that is growing as people lose their jobs. Abigail Abrams, Time, "Planned Parenthood Is Expanding Telehealth to All 50 States Amid the Coronavirus Pandemic," 14 Apr. 2020 Currently, the centers serve between 250 and 300 children on a sliding scale tuition. Krista Torralva,, "San Antonio council members receptive to May election push for pre-k sales tax," 15 Jan. 2020 For more information on the sliding scale of percentage wage decreases, click here. Lily Jackson |, al, "UAB cuts pay, adds furloughs to battle shortfall topping $230 million," 4 May 2020 Additionally, Jojo, one of Portland’s best new food carts of 2019, has relaunched its full menu seven days a week after spending the past month feeding the service industry on a sliding scale. oregonlive, "Matt’s BBQ, Por Que No taqueria relaunch with limited takeout this week," 17 Apr. 2020 This bill would have provided childcare on a sliding scale to all American children and was wildly popular, however Nixon vetoed it. Liuba Grechen Shirley, Time, "If America Doesn't Invest in Childcare, Who Will Watch Our Kids When We Go Back to Work?," 23 Apr. 2020

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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Time Traveler for sliding scale

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The first known use of sliding scale was in 1842

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Last Updated

26 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Sliding scale.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Jun. 2020.

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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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