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 Families making less than 75% of the state median income would not pay anything for care, while families earning above 75% of the state median income would pay their share on a sliding scale. Sarah Ewall-wice, CBS News, "Progressive lawmakers push child care plans ahead of President Biden's proposal," 27 Apr. 2021 At the time of those cuts, the team instituted pay cuts on a sliding scale, with those making the most money seeing the highest percentage of salary reduction. Nick Piecoro, The Arizona Republic, "Diamondbacks reinstate full pay for employees; team cited revenue drop in making cuts last year," 7 Apr. 2021 One’s willingness to pay for anything is determined on a sliding scale, relative to alternatives. Joseph C. Sternberg, WSJ, "Angela Merkel Has Lost Her Pandemic Touch," 25 Mar. 2021 Some may be looking for options that are free or priced on a sliding scale, while others may seek to hire professional caregivers on a regular basis for regular caregiving services. Veronica Mitchell, San Diego Union-Tribune, "When you hit the wall, it’s time for respite care," 16 Mar. 2021 Even before the governor finished speaking, the Salt Lake County Health Department website took down its warning that only those 70 and older could schedule an appointment, and opened up registration on a sliding scale over the next few days. Taylor Stevens, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Utah has opened up vaccinations to those 65 and older immediately," 18 Feb. 2021 There are dozens of affordable therapy resources from sliding scale collectives, to therapy funds, to apps and social media communities, that can help fill in the gaps. Stefanie Groner, Glamour, "28 Low-Cost or Free Online Therapy Resources," 21 Jan. 2021 When the pandemic hit, BGB went completely virtual, offering a now-monthly breathwork circle that participants can join on a sliding scale from $0 to $25. Hannah Dylan Pasternak, SELF, "My Bedtime Routine: Jasmine Marie, Founder of Black Girls Breathing, on Letting Go of Self-Care Shame," 24 Feb. 2021 The measure, which is modeled after the federal credit by the same name, gives cash payments to the working poor on a sliding scale. Washington Post, "Maryland grants stimulus aid to undocumented immigrants, other noncitizens," 23 Feb. 2021

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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Statistics for sliding scale

Last Updated

29 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Sliding scale.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 May. 2021.

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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

Comments on sliding scale

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