The Meaning of Scope: What It Is and How To Use It

Do you know the definition of scope? This article will provide you with all of the information you need on the word scope, including its definition, etymology, usage, example sentences, and more!

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What does the word scope mean?

According to Collins English Dictionary and the American Heritage Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, the word scope can be used as a noun or a verb. As a noun, the word scope can mean an extent, range of perception or action, or understanding. It can also refer to a physical scope, outlook or viewpoint such as a telescope, cathode-ray oscilloscope, radarscope, periscope or short form of microscope. As a verb, the word scope means to look at or look into, carefully. This is often part of an expression in its combining form with the word out to form the term scope out. Scope is pronounced skoʊp.

Many different languages also contain words that mean scope (skəʊp). You may notice that many of these words look and sound similar to the word scope. These cognates are often formed when two words are of a similar origin. This list of translations for the word scope is provided by Word Sense.

  •  Maori: korahi‎, kainga‎
  •  German: Umfang‎, Bereich‎ (masc.), Umgebung‎ (masc.), Rahmen‎ (masc.), Feld‎ (neut.), Raum‎ (masc.), Gebiet‎ (neut.)
  •  Italian: ambito‎ (masc.)
  •  Turkish: kapsam‎
  •  Hebrew: היקף‎ (heikef)
  •  Russian: масшта́б‎ (masc.), преде́л‎ (masc.), разма́х‎ (masc.), рамка‎, сфе́ра‎ (fem.)
  •  Estonian: ulatus‎
  •  Spanish: ámbito‎ (masc.)
  •  Swedish: omfattning‎
  •  Czech: rozsah‎ (masc.)
  •  Irish: scóp‎ (masc.)
  •  Dutch: domein‎, bereik‎, reikwijdte‎
  •  French: portée‎ (fem.)
  •  Portuguese: âmbito‎ (masc.), escopo‎ (masc.)
  •  Finnish: ulottuvuus‎, ala‎, laajuus‎

What is the origin of the word scope?

According to Etymonline, the word scope has been used since c16 and comes from the Italian scopo goal, Latin scopus, and Greek skopos. These come from the New Latin scopium and Greek skopein, skopeion, skopeîn, sképtesthai or skopion. These all mean some aim, purpose, object or target and come from Proto-Indo-European roots, namely scop. One can add the suffixes ed and ing to the given operator to form the related words scoped and scoping. 

How can the word scope be used in a sentence?

The word scope can be used in many different sentences in the English language. Using words in a sentence is a great way to memorize their definitions. You can also try making flashcards or quizzes to test your knowledge, or using other tools. Try using this word of the day in a sentence today! Below are several examples of the word scope to get you started.

The surgeon found nothing using a stethoscope, but found a torn ligament in the football player’s knee using electronic equipment and visual images. This was outside his scope of knowledge, but he referred him to a different doctor to perform surgery and provide a greater range of movement. 

The scope of his thesis in the university setting at Princeton University was far too broad. He was examining logic, slang, and a range of words and expressions for his English degree. His advisor, a skeptic, thought the topic needed to be smaller for the given instance of a logical connective.

She was furious when they told her the scope of an investigation was only within reach of the law, and to let the cops handle it. She knew her sister was not killed by accident, but was an intended target and she vowed to use the clues of the piano and the mysterious human voice as an identifier for the killer.

The person aiming at the species of springtail could not find it in his scopt. They did not want the projectile to hit something that was not the intended target.

The scope of the political orbit of a world power was nowhere near equivalent to the ambit of municipal legislation. The old men that would anchor cable didn’t believe this, though.

What are synonyms and antonyms of the word scope?

There are many different words that mean the same things as the word scope. These are called synonyms. Synonyms are very useful to know if you are trying to avoid repeating yourself, as well as if you are working on improving your vocabulary. THis list of synonyms for the word scope is provided by Power Thesaurus

  •  freedom
  •  proportions
  •  space
  •  spectrum
  •  elbow room
  •  oscilloscope
  •  limits
  •  latitude
  •  leeway
  •  background
  •  amplitude
  •  size
  •  area
  •  range
  •  spread
  •  play
  •  room
  •  capacity
  •  telescope
  •  gamut
  •  magnitude
  •  chance
  •  domain
  •  dimensions
  •  margin
  •  dimension
  •  horizon
  •  degree
  •  purview
  •  ambit
  •  span
  •  sphere
  •  width
  •  extent
  •  reach
  •  compass
  •  coverage
  •  scale
  •  margins
  •  stretch
  •  breadth
  •  realm
  •  field
  •  liberty
  •  expanse
  •  orbit
  •  opportunity
  •  sweep
  •  jurisdiction
  •  setting

There are also many different words that mean the opposite of the word scope. These opposite words are called antonyms. Antonyms are also a useful English grammatical device to know in order to expand your vocabulary and knowledge of the English language. This list of antonyms for the term scope is also provided by Power Thesaurus.

  •  chaos
  •  barring
  •  confusion
  •  disallowing
  •  disorientation
  •  prohibition
  •  enslavement
  •  breach
  •  disadvantage
  •  editing
  •  disorganization
  •  curb
  •  captivity
  •  disorderliness
  •  frog view
  •  control
  •  disorganisation
  •  restraint
  •  arrest
  •  criterion
  •  disallowance
  •  embargo
  •  bondage
  •  confoundment
  •  committal
  •  limit
  •  worm’s eye view
  •  damper
  •  check
  •  foreground
  •  ban
  •  curtailment
  •  condition
  •  detention
  •  doubtfulness
  •  demarcation
  •  imprisonment
  •  banning
  •  constraint
  •  frog’s eye view
  •  disregard
  •  disarray
  •  break
  •  debarment
  •  powerlessness
  •  expurgation
  •  forbidding
  •  custody
  •  disorder
  •  avert one’s gaze

Overall, the word scope means a range of view or grasp, or the state of the environment. This can be used in many different ways in linguistics as a noun or a verb. It can also refer to the range of a supersonic jet and one can add a modifier or suffix to scope to form related words and phrases. 


  1. scope: meaning, origin, translation | Word Sense 
  2. Scope synonyms – 1 889 Words and Phrases for Scope | Power Thesaurus 
  3. Scope antonyms – 178 Opposites of Scope | Power Thesaurus
  4. scope | Origin and meaning of scope | Online Etymology Dictionary  
  5. Scope definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary