scan

verb
\ ˈskan How to pronounce scan (audio) \
scanned; scanning

Definition of scan

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to read or mark so as to show metrical structure scan poetry
2 : to examine by point-by-point observation or checking:
a : to investigate thoroughly by checking point by point and often repeatedly a fire lookout scanning the hills with binoculars
b : to glance from point to point of often hastily, casually, or in search of a particular item scan the want ads looking for a job
3a : to examine systematically (as by passing a beam of radiation over or through) in order to obtain data especially for display or storage scanned the patient's heart radar scans the horizon scan the photos into the computer
b : to pass over in the formation of an image the electron beam scans the picture tube

intransitive verb

1 : to scan verse
2 : to conform to a metrical pattern this poem scans well

scan

noun

Definition of scan (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the act or process of scanning
2 : a radar or television trace
3 : an image formed by scanning something: such as
a : a depiction (such as a photograph) of the distribution of a radioactive material in something (such as a bodily organ)
b : an image of a bodily part produced (as by computer) by combining ultrasonic or radiographic data obtained from several angles or sections

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Other Words from scan

Verb

scannable \ ˈska-​nə-​bəl How to pronounce scannable (audio) \ adjective

Choose the Right Synonym for scan

Verb

scrutinize, scan, inspect, examine mean to look at or over. scrutinize stresses close attention to minute detail. scrutinized the hospital bill scan implies a surveying from point to point often suggesting a cursory overall observation. scanned the wine list inspect implies scrutinizing for errors or defects. inspected my credentials examine suggests a scrutiny in order to determine the nature, condition, or quality of a thing. examined the specimens

Examples of scan in a Sentence

Verb He scanned the field with binoculars. He scanned the audience looking for his parents. She scanned his face for any clue to what he was thinking. She quickly scanned the pages of the newspaper. She scanned through the list to find her name. Their bags were scanned at the airport. This machine scans a patient's brain. Noun The patient underwent a brain scan. The doctor examined the bone scans.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb After her mother reported the kidnapping to officials, a family friend, Jeff King, scanned the Fort Worth streets and eventually spotted the vehicle police had described as part of the kidnapping parked outside of a WoodSpring Suites. Joelle Goldstein, PEOPLE.com, "Dramatic Footage Shows Moment Police Rescued Kidnapped Fort Worth Girl, 8, from Hotel Room," 19 Nov. 2019 Thieves are scanning and Ford is planning, but first, a cartoon about subscription dreams. Wired, "Ford's Electric Mustang, A Gadget-Stealing Hack, and More News," 18 Nov. 2019 Allen claims a National Alliance accountant secretly scanned documents tying him to the group and sold them to the law center, violating a confidentiality agreement. Michael Kunzelman, baltimoresun.com, "Judge tosses lawsuit over article tying Baltimore lawyer to neo-Nazis," 14 Nov. 2019 This summer, the FaceApp debate exploded on social media, as people questioned the motives of the Russian engineers behind the technology that scanned millions of people’s faces, with no indication of what happened to the data given to the app. Kush Saxena, Quartz, "Engineers need a required course in ethics," 8 Nov. 2019 This allows providers to more effectively scan their patient populations and identify individuals who need extra support or care. Claudia Williams, STAT, "The health information exchange has evolved from hunter and gatherer to cultivator," 31 Oct. 2019 Gibbs scanned the seats and spotted Gardner Minshew, sure enough, eating peanut butter with a spoon straight from the jar. Adam Kilgore, The Denver Post, "How Gardner Minshew went from college nomad to mustachioed cult hero to NFL’s top rookie," 3 Oct. 2019 The app lets scientists tap into your phone’s unused computer power to hunt for extraterrestrial life, scan the skies for blinking pulsars, and explore new proteins in three-dimension. Jennifer Leman, Popular Mechanics, "7 Science Apps That Will Make You Smarter," 30 Sep. 2019 The algorithm testing process will include an ability to scan and evaluate 250,000 news articles and 250,000 social media posts, with 5,000 fake items in the mix. Los Angeles Times, "U.S. unleashes military to fight fake news and disinformation," 1 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Download an app to your smartphone, and with a scan, the Paranormal Intercept Bus 3000 and J.B.’s Ghost Lab come alive in AR. Time For Kids, Time, "The Best Toys of 2019," 22 Nov. 2019 To diagnose the illness, doctors must often conduct lab tests, scans, X-rays, and endoscopies to rule out other conditions, which can take months and cost tens of thousands of dollars. BostonGlobe.com, "Since recreational marijuana became legal in Massachusetts three years ago, hospitals have noticed more cases of a rare illness afflicting a small portion of heavy cannabis consumers.," 11 Nov. 2019 Most recently, some hospitals have moved to using biometric means — scans of eyes or palm veins — to more accurately identify patients. Joe Sexton, ProPublica, "Journalism That Holds Power to Account," 3 Nov. 2019 Players at the combine endure MRI scans, get examined by physicians, puzzle through intelligence tests, and undergo background checks. Oliver Staley, Quartz at Work, "How the NFL separates good from great when evaluating talent," 24 Oct. 2019 By combining airborne laser scans and ground surveys, researchers were able to locate the city. Fox News, "Mysterious lost city discovered in Cambodian jungle," 19 Oct. 2019 When doctors took a closer look at Steffen's lung scans, the images weren't typical of a lifelong smoker. Erika Edwards, NBC News, "Vaping illnesses continue to rise, with no cause in sight," 17 Oct. 2019 From 2012 to 2014, a private company called Fugro collected airborne laser scans, or LiDAR, of the island made for the Scottish government. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Lasers Help Scientists Spot 900 New Archaeological Sites on Scotland’s Isle of Arran," 15 Oct. 2019 According to the Daily News, the contractors offered subjects $5 Starbucks gift cards in exchange for 3-D scans of their faces, taken with the Pixel. Sidney Fussell, The Atlantic, "How the Homeless Became Raw Materials for Big Tech," 9 Oct. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'scan.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of scan

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Noun

1706, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for scan

Verb

Middle English scannen, from Late Latin scandere, from Latin, to climb; akin to Middle Irish sceinnid he springs, Sanskrit skandati he leaps

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Learn More about scan

Time Traveler for scan

Time Traveler

The first known use of scan was in the 14th century

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Statistics for scan

Last Updated

24 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Scan.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/scan. Accessed 7 December 2019.

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More Definitions for scan

scan

verb
How to pronounce scan (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of scan

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to look at (something) carefully usually in order to find someone or something
: to look over or read (something) quickly
: to look at the inside of (something) by using a special machine

scan

noun

English Language Learners Definition of scan (Entry 2 of 2)

: the act of looking at something carefully or quickly
: the act or process of using a special machine to see the inside of something (such as a part of the body)
: a picture of the inside of something that is made by a special machine

scan

verb
\ ˈskan How to pronounce scan (audio) \
scanned; scanning

Kids Definition of scan

1 : to examine or look over carefully He scanned the field with binoculars.
2 : to look through or over quickly I scanned the headlines of the newspaper.
3 : to examine with a special device (as a scanner) especially to obtain information My bag was scanned at the airport.

scan

verb
\ ˈskan How to pronounce scan (audio) \
scanned; scanning

Medical Definition of scan

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to examine especially systematically with a sensing device (as a photometer or a beam of radiation)
b : to pass an electron beam over and convert (an image) into variations of electrical properties (as voltage) that convey information electronically
2 : to make a scan of (as the human body) in order to detect the presence or localization of radioactive material

intransitive verb

: to make a scan of the body or of an organ or part

scan

noun

Medical Definition of scan (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the act or process of scanning
2a : a depiction (as a photograph) of the distribution of a radioactive material in something (as a bodily organ)
b : an image of a bodily part produced (as by computer) by combining ultrasonographic or radiographic data obtained from several angles or sections

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More from Merriam-Webster on scan

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for scan

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with scan

Spanish Central: Translation of scan

Nglish: Translation of scan for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of scan for Arabic Speakers

Comments on scan

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