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See also: Scope and -scope



  • IPA(key): (RP) /ˈskəʊp/
  • IPA(key): (US) /ˈskoʊp/
  • (file)
  • Hyphenation: scope
  • Rhymes: -əʊp

Etymology 1[edit]

From Italian scopo (purpose), from Latin scopus (target)[1][2], from Ancient Greek σκοπός (skopós), from σκέπτομαι (sképtomai), from Proto-Indo-European *speḱ-. Etymologically related to skeptic and spectrum.


scope (countable and uncountable, plural scopes)

4x rifle scope
  1. The breadth, depth or reach of a subject; a domain.
  2. (weaponry) A device used in aiming a projectile, through which the person aiming looks at the intended target.
    Synonym: telescopic sight
    • 2014, Sgt. Jack Coughlin, Donald A. Davis, On Scope: A Sniper Novel, St. Martin's Press (→ISBN)
      Coastie yanked her eye away from the night scope when those big lights were caught by it and amplified in intensity. Her entire view had gone white in an instant. “I can't see!” Temporarily blinded, she let touch become her primary sense, dropped the M40, and grabbed her alternate weapon, an M16 with an ACOG day scope that was already registered for the same distance.
  3. Opportunity; broad range; degree of freedom.
    • 2001, Mike Hughes, Andy Vass, Strategies for Closing the Learning Gap (page 19)
      It is also true that the vast majority of teachers are highly skilled and experienced professionals who are already doing an excellent job in the classroom, thus leaving relatively little scope for improvement.
    • 2014, Mary Kitt-Neel, Lie Down in Princess Position
      She had in fact put in a resume at another firm that gave their graphics team much more scope.
  4. (programming) The region of program source code in which a given identifier is meaningful, or a given object can be accessed.
    • 2001, Mary Campione, Kathy Walrath, Alison Huml, The Java Tutorial: A Short Course on the Basics, Addison-Wesley Professional (→ISBN), page 72
      A variable's scope is the region of a program within which the variable can be referred to by its simple name. Secondarily, scope also determines when the system creates and destroys memory for the variable. Scope is distinct from visibility, which applies only to member variables and determines whether the variable can be used from outside of the class within which it is declared.
  5. (logic) The shortest sub-wff of which a given instance of a logical connective is a part.
  6. (linguistics) The region of an utterance to which some modifying element applies.
    the scope of an adverb
  7. (slang) A periscope, telescope, microscope or oscilloscope.
  8. (medicine, colloquial) Any medical procedure that ends in the suffix -scopy, such as endoscopy, colonoscopy, bronchoscopy, etc.
computing: region of program source where identifier is meaningful
Derived terms[edit]
  • Irish: scóp


scope (third-person singular simple present scopes, present participle scoping, simple past and past participle scoped)

  1. (informal, transitive) To perform a cursory investigation of; scope out.
    • 2004, Don Harris, The Drunk:
      We don't know, so let's scope the action before having another shoot out.
    • 2012, Khalid Patel, Hollow Shotguns:
      “Let's scope the scene.” The gang advanced, searching for humanity.
  2. (medicine, colloquial) To perform any medical procedure that ends in the suffix -scopy, such as endoscopy, colonoscopy, bronchoscopy, etc.
    The surgeon will scope the football player's knee to repair damage to a ligament.
  3. (programming) To limit (an object or variable) to a certain region of program source code.
    If we locally scope the user's login name, it won't be accessible from outside this function.
  4. (informal) To examine under a microscope.
    The entomologist explained that he could not tell what species of springtail we were looking at without scoping it.
  5. (birdwatching, informal) To observe a bird using a spotting scope.
    • 2005, Sean Dooley, The Big Twitch, Sydney: Allen and Unwin, page 199:
      `Maybe there was another darker bird and it had flown away before we could scope it?' `Yes there must have been,' came the grim-faced reply.

Etymology 2[edit]

Latin scopa


scope (plural scopes)

  1. (obsolete) A bundle, as of twigs.


  1. ^ Douglas Harper (2001–2022), “scope”, in Online Etymology Dictionary.
  2. ^ scope”, in Merriam–Webster Online Dictionary.




scope f

  1. plural of scopa





  1. vocative singular of scopus