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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?
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.