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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 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. 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 up this drawing? I'd love to have a model to present to the board.
See also: scale, up

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

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!
References in periodicals archive ?
Gillooly, Brown, and their New Mexico colleague Andrew Allen have now used these scaling laws to estimate the amount of carbon that is stored and released by different plant ecosystems.
To do this, they apply their scaling laws to the mass distribution of plants and the metabolic rate of individual plants.
Martinez del Rio cautions that ecologists making practical conservation decisions need more-detailed information than the scaling laws generally give.
SCALING DOWN The team's master equation may resolve a long-standing controversy in evolutionary biology: Why do the fossil record and genetic data often give different estimates of when certain species diverged?
Simply put, it's the "4" from four dimensions that explains the "4" in 1/4-power scaling relations, he and his colleagues assert.
Has the New Mexico group solved the riddle of life's scaling rules?
Their computer simulations suggest that the between-species scaling laws are a statistical accident.
However, modifying the model accordingly has no effect on the predicted scaling exponents, he says.
In dentistry, local as well as systemic antibiotics have been used to treat periodontitis, often as an adjunctive therapy to scaling and root planing.
Results of two large multicenter clinical studies in the United States indicated that the adjunctive use of PerioChip with scaling and root planing resulted in significantly greater reduction of periodontal pockets compared with scaling and root planing alone.
In the scaling and root planing group the main reduction in pocket depth occurred between baseline and three months, after which point it stabilized.
Both the DesignJet 750C Plus and the DesignJet 700 printers come standard with an automatic roll-feed and cutter device and allow prints up to 25-feet long with ZoomSmart scaling technology.
ZoomSmart scaling technology features a series of point-and click Windows dialog boxes that offer several powerful options for enlarging output from popular Windows-based applications, such as Excel, Microsoft(R) Word, PowerPoint and CorelDraw
The new technology simplifies the scaling process with convenient options, such as "fit to page" or "reduce to fit," that automatically match the source print area to the size of the destination page.
Layout-preview and page-preview capabilities, which portray how source files will appear in final print, are among ZoomSmart scaling technology's most powerful features.