sliding scale

noun
1.
a variable scale, especially of industrial costs, as wages, that may be adapted to changes in demand.
2.
a wage scale varying with the selling price of goods produced, the cost of living, or profits.
3.
a price scale, as of medical fees, in which prices vary according to the ability of individuals to pay.
4.
a tariff scale varying according to changing prices.

Origin:
1700–10

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
sliding scale
 
n
a variable scale according to which specified wages, tariffs, prices, etc, fluctuate in response to changes in some other factor, standard, or conditions

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

sliding scale definition


A set of rates that change according to a mathematical formula. The income tax, for example, is levied on a sliding scale, with the rich paying a higher percentage than the poor.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
Unlike wine and cider, beer is taxed on a sliding scale according to its
  strength.
Under this, profits are shared among partners according to a sliding scale of
  seniority.
Under this system, profits are shared among partners according to a sliding
  scale of seniority.
These positions are all way-points on a sliding scale.
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