Definition of scope in English:

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Pronunciation: /skōp/


1The extent of the area or subject matter that something deals with or to which it is relevant: we widened the scope of our investigation such questions go well beyond the scope of this book
More example sentences
  • The content is specific to areas within the scope of an executive's responsibilities.
  • The classic brand management system usually limited its scope to the relevant market in a single country.
  • And while it matches their first effort in scope and subject matter, the documentaries leave a little something to be desired this time around.
extent, range, breadth, width, reach, sweep, purview, span, horizon;
area, sphere, field, realm, compass, orbit, ambit, terms/field of reference, jurisdiction;
confine, limit;
2The opportunity or possibility to do or deal with something: the scope for major change is always limited by political realities
More example sentences
  • It became, as a direct consequence, a field where limited opportunities gave plenty of scope for those who were established to exploit those who were eager aspirants.
  • First, the techniques of self-help may create scope for opportunism on the part of secured as against unsecured creditors.
  • For this reason the broadest possible geographical scope for the law of international watercourses is to be preferred.
opportunity, freedom, latitude, leeway, capacity, liberty, room (to maneuver), elbow room;
possibility, chance
2.1 archaic A purpose, end, or intention: Plato maintains religion to be the chief aim and scope of human life
3 informal A telescope, microscope, or other device having a name ending in -scope: infrared night scopes
More example sentences
  • The presence of a minimum of two big spotting scopes is usually the key field mark.
  • Fossils were measured under a dissecting scope using a calibrated ocular micrometer.
  • F 1 progeny were scored under a dissecting scope for suppression or enhancement of the KDN rough eye phenotype.
4 Nautical The length of cable extended when a ship rides at anchor.
5 Linguistics & Logic The range of the effect of an operator such as a quantifier or conjunction.
Example sentences
  • An operator (like always) within a relative clause does not like to take wider scope than operators outside the relative.
  • The claim is that the ambiguity can be resolved entirely in terms of syntactic scope.
  • The claim, of course, was that referential uses of a description are a function of pragmatics, not quantifier scope.


[with object]
1Assess or investigate (something): they’d scoped out their market
1.1Set the scope of (a projected undertaking): it is important that a project is scoped correctly to ensure the budget can be accurately defined
More example sentences
  • A ' Futures Team ' is being set up whose purpose is to scope out future innovations for the West Midlands.
  • At least there was plenty of empty ground on which to scope out a hurried new design.
  • Like methods, properties are scoped to their enclosing interface declaration.
2North American informal Look at carefully; scan: they watched him scoping the room, looking for Michael
More example sentences
  • Let alone getting 250 grand a year to play a bit of footy, in between scoping the scene at Burleigh Heads.
  • Grigory was three miles due west of Natalya's position, scoping out the scene.
  • Then a couple of white guys, hunched over, scoping out the street, looking to score.


Mid 16th century (in the sense 'target for shooting at'): from Italian scopo 'aim', from Greek skopos 'target', from skeptesthai 'look out'. sense 3 of the noun is derived from -scope..

  • kaleidoscope from early 19th century:

    Sir David Brewster, the 19th-century inventor of the kaleidoscope, also coined the name for his invention. It is made up of elements from the Greek words kalos ‘beautiful’, eidos ‘form’, and skopein ‘to look at’, also the root of scope (mid 16th century).

Words that rhyme with scope

aslope, cope, dope, elope, grope, hope, interlope, lope, mope, nope, ope, pope, rope, soap, taupe, tope, trope

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: scope

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