Scalable is a word that in our opinion can have two common meanings.
- to describe something that can be changed in size, for example, a scalable image, which is an image that can be made bigger (scaled up) or smaller (scaled down).
- to describe something that can be climbed or ascended in some other way. For example, a scalable cliff face would be a cliff that someone as assessed as being suitable to climb.
In both of these meanings, the word scalable is an adjective.
What is the meaning of Scalable?
In the Cambridge dictionary, scalable has the following definitions:
‘used to describe a business or system that is able to grow or to be made larger‘
‘able to be made larger in size‘
The dictionary does not appear to focus on the same definitions as the ones we thought of. The dictionary describes scalable in ways that relate to growing a business through an infrastructure that allows expansion, as well as physically (or pictorially) enlarging something (scaling).
A Scalable Image
Often when something is scaled, the proportion that is is increased by on the x-axis (horizontally) is often the same as on the y-axis (vertically). However, a scaled image does not necessarily have to be scaled equally length-ways as it does in height. Quite often on drawing packages, when scaling an image, there will be an icon that looks like the links in a chain. When this icon is clicked to open/split the chain image, the horizontal scaling is independent of the vertical scaling, and vice versa. When the image is clicked until it looks like a fully formed link, the horizontal changes are mirrored by the vertical changes (in the same ratio).
Related words include scale, scalability and scaling.
We hope that this post has helped to define the word scalable.
See the Adjectives section at WriteCorrectly.com for more information about this class of word.
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