n. ~ 1. The ratio between the size of something and its representation. - 2. A graphic illustrating the relative size of something.
Maps and architectural, engineering, and technical drawings are often to scale1, accurately reflecting the proportions of the thing they represent. Scale is often expressed verbally; for example, one inch equals one mile. If the map is reproduced at a different size, that statement of scale is no longer accurate in the reproduction. - A scale is often a thick rule with different units on either side, one for the map or drawing, the other for the thing represented. Such a scale retains its accuracy if reproduced at a different size.