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Alteration of scantillon +‎ -ling, from Old French escantillon(sample pattern) (Modern French échantillon). Later senses also influenced by similarity with scant.



scantling (plural scantlings)

  1. (chiefly in the plural) The set size or dimension of a piece of timber, stone etc., or materials used to build ships or aircraft.
  2. (archaic) A small portion, a scant amount.
    • 1603, John Florio, translating Michel de Montaigne, Essayes, London: Edward Blount, OCLC 946730821, Folio Society, 2006, vol.1, p.204:
      For one may have particular knowledge of the nature of one river, and experience of the qualitie of one fountaine, that in other things knowes no more than another man: who neverthelesse to publish this little scantling, will undertake to write all of the Physickes.
    • Francis Bacon
      Such as exceed not this scantling, to be solace to the sovereign and harmless to the people.
    • Milton
      A pretty scantling of his knowledge may taken by his deferring to be baptized so many years.
    • Jeremy Taylor
      Reducing them to narrow scantlings.
  3. A small, upright timber used in construction, especially less than five inches square.
  4. (obsolete) A rough draught; a crude sketch or outline.
  5. (obsolete) A frame for casks to lie upon; a trestle.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Knight to this entry?)

See also[edit]


scantling (comparative more scantling, superlative most scantling)

  1. Not plentiful; small; scanty.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Jeremy Taylor to this entry?)