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

Enrollees must make contributions to a health savings account, on a sliding scale based on income, to qualify for full benefits. New York Times, "Finally, Some Answers on the Effects of Medicaid Expansion," 2 July 2018 Students must earn at least a 2.3 GPA in core courses to be eligible to compete immediately plus an SAT or ACT score that meets a certain threshold on a sliding scale based on the core course GPA. Jon Hale, The Courier-Journal, "Reclassifying is trending up in college basketball, for better or worse," 26 June 2018 Tickets are priced on a sliding scale from $50 to $150 and can be purchased here at Chance’s official website. Lars Brandle, Billboard, "Chance the Rapper Is Throwing a Party to Celebrate the Special Olympics 50th Anniversary," 25 June 2018 Aldermen unanimously approved the local preference option that would be figured on contracts up to $2 million and would be done on a sliding scale. Steve Lord, Aurora Beacon-News, "Aurora OKs formula to give preference to local firms bidding for city contracts," 29 June 2018 At least 540,000 cases of wine from the 2017 vintage will carry the logo, according to the Wine Institute, and its cost to wineries runs on a sliding scale, from $200 to $2,000. Esther Mobley,, "California wine’s sustainability dilemma," 22 June 2018 Those co-ops generally operate on a sliding scale, and shoppers do not have to be members to use the stores. Bailey Loosemore, The Courier-Journal, "A community-owned grocery is (slowly) making its way to Louisville," 29 May 2018 James said the Mid-America Regional Council, which coordinates early childhood programs and philanthropic foundations, would employ a sliding scale to distribute the money to schools and other eligible service providers. Bill Turque And Mará Rose Williams, kansascity, "James launches campaign for sales tax hike to fund pre-K," 3 July 2018 Market customers can purchase a share of fruits and vegetables on a sliding scale using cash, card or SNAP benefits. Louisville Courier Journal, The Courier-Journal, "Your guide to fresh produce at over 20 Louisville-area farmers markets," 28 June 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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Last Updated

14 Oct 2018

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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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