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turn the scale(s)

To change the balance of a situation, such that one side or element is favored or gains advantage. The two candidates are so close in the polls that both are vying for something that will turn the scale in their favor. The immense interconnectivity of social media has turned the scales of power somewhat back into the hands of the ordinary population.
See also: turn

tilt the scale(s)

To change the balance of a situation, such that one side or element is favored or gains advantage. The two candidates are so close in the polls that both are vying for something that will tilt the scale in their favor. The immense interconnectivity of social media has tilted the scales of power somewhat back into the hands of the ordinary population.
See also: tilt

thumb on the scale

A method of deception or manipulation that creates an unfair advantage for the swindler, likened to a merchant holding a thumb on the scale when weighing goods for sale, therefore increasing the weight and price. You have to suspect that the casinos have their thumb on the scale when it comes to the slot machines. There's no way you're getting fair odds.
See also: on, scale, thumb

bud scale

The hard, protective layer surrounding the buds of some plants. Oh, that's just a bud scale—your plant is fine.
See also: bud, scale

tip the balance

To upset the balance of a situation, such that one side or element is favored or gains advantage. The two candidates are so close in the polls that both are vying for something that will tip the balance in their favor. The immense interconnectivity of social media has tipped the balance of power somewhat back into the hands of the ordinary population.
See also: balance, tip

tip the scale(s)

To upset the balance of a situation, such that one side or element is favored or gains advantage. The two candidates are so close in the polls that both are vying for something that will tip the scale in their favor. The immense interconnectivity of social media has tipped the scales of power somewhat back into the hands of the ordinary population.
See also: tip

scale back

To minimize or reduce something in size or scope. A noun or pronoun can be used between "scale" and "back." With such a dramatic decrease in funding, we're going to have to scale back on our project now.
See also: back, scale

scale up

1. To climb up something. How long do you think it will take us to scale up the mountain?
2. To increase something in size or scope. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "scale" and "up." With this sudden increase in funding, we can finally scale up our research project! Can you scale this drawing up? I'd love to have a model to present to the board.
See also: scale, up

be thrown into the scale (of something)

obsolete To be added to something in order to its importance, relevance, or influence. The conquered nation has been thrown into the scale of the empire's domain, securing yet another region over which it reigns. The government must ensure that any such legislation is thrown into the scale of public confidence.
See also: scale, thrown

scale down

1. To climb down something. How long do you think it will take us to scale down the mountain?
2. To reduce or decrease something in size or scope. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "scale" and "down." With this sudden decrease in funding, we will have to scale down the project to just five staff members! Can you scale this model down so that it will fit on the boardroom table?
See also: down, scale

scale something down

to reduce the size or cost of something. The bad economy forced us to scale the project down. Liz scaled down the project.
See also: down, scale

scale something to something

to design or adjust the size of one thing to match or complement the size of another thing. The architect sought to scale the office building to the buildings surrounding it. The playhouse will have to be scaled to the main house.
See also: scale

scale down

Reduce the size or cost of, as in The owners decided to scale down wages. This expression, along with the related scale up, which refers to an increase, alludes to scale in the sense of "a fixed standard." [Late 1800s]
See also: down, scale

tip the balance

Also, tip the scales; turn the scale. Offset the balance and thereby favor one side or precipitate an action. For example, He felt that affirmative action had tipped the balance slightly in favor of minority groups , or New high-tech weapons definitely tipped the scales in the Gulf War, or Just one more mistake will turn the scale against them. Shakespeare used turn the scale literally in Measure for Measure (4:2): "You weigh equally; a feather will turn the scale." The idioms with tip are much younger, dating from the first half of the 1900s.
See also: balance, tip

tip the balance

or

tip the scales

COMMON If something tips the balance or tips the scales in a situation where two results seem equally likely, it makes one result happen or become much more likely. As the election approaches, the two main parties appear so evenly matched that just one issue could tip the balance. Years later, she still believed it had been Howe's warnings, not any love for her, that had finally tipped the scales against his leaving her for Lucy.
See also: balance, tip

throw something on (or into) the scale

emphasize the relevance of something to one side of an argument or debate.
See also: on, scale, something, throw

scale back

v.
To reduce the scope or extent of something according to a standard or by degrees; reduce something in calculated amounts: The company scaled back the scheduled pay increase. After reviewing its budget, the school scaled its sports activities back.
See also: back, scale

scale down

v.
1. To climb down something; descend something: The climber carefully scaled down the cliff.
2. To reduce the scope or extent of something according to a standard or by degrees; reduce something in calculated amounts: The lawyer advised them to scale down their demands. We decided our travel plans were unrealistic, so we scaled them down.
See also: down, scale

scale up

v.
1. To climb up something; ascend something: The hikers scaled up the side of the mountain.
2. To increase the scope or extent of something according to a standard or by degrees; increase something in calculated amounts: The company scaled up its operations to meet the growing demand. The city scaled its efforts up to reduce crime.
See also: scale, up

scale

n. the regular union rate of pay; union wages. We pay scale and not a penny more. I don’t care who you think you are!
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