Definition of scope in English:


Syllabification: scope
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.
More 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] Back to top  
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..

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