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

In one idea, users scan their face with a mobile device and receive product recommendations based on an analysis of their skin, factoring in wrinkles and blemishes. Sara Castellanos, WSJ, "Estée Lauder Revamps IT, Merging Beauty Business With Innovation," 20 Mar. 2019 For now, that means chemo twice a month and scans every few months. Kate Rockwood, Good Housekeeping, "After a Metastatic Breast Cancer Diagnosis, One Mom Is Encouraging Others to Ask the Right Questions," 15 Aug. 2018 Around the clock, the radar scans the entire perimeter out to its maximum range. Allison Barrie, Fox News, "'Force field' technology could make US tanks unstoppable," 3 Aug. 2018 Much like editors, stylists, or buyers, each Instagram user scans the shows during Fashion Week to narrow down what each celebrity could potentially wear in the months ahead, a task that also takes, well, hours. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, "Who Are the Anonymous Users Running Instagram’s Most Famous Celebrity Style Instagram Accounts?," 19 July 2018 Each of the book’s 300-plus pages was hand-drawn with watercolor brushes and India ink on Bristol paper, then scanned and colored with Photoshop. Moira Macdonald, The Seattle Times, "Soon, people all across Seattle will be reading this graphic novel. Meet its creator, Thi Bui.," 27 Mar. 2019 His Harlem studio setup once included a 3D body mapping zone where his celebrity clients could be scanned so that their Levine stage costumes fit like second skins. Hamish Bowles, Vogue, "Meet the Designer Behind Lady Gaga’s Mesmerizing Sci-fi Costumes," 14 Jan. 2019 His friend, for instance, was charged twice for an imaging test because the technician scanned the incorrect body part the first time. Stephanie Booth, Fox News, "Is your hospital bill accurate?," 27 Sep. 2018 Shoppers can browse products online before visiting the gallery and are even able to use the 1stdibs smartphone app to scan items for more details. Monique Valeris, ELLE Decor, "1stdibs Just Opened a Stunning NYC Gallery," 14 Feb. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Force yourself to slow down and do a quick mental body scan of your form in each position. SELF, "Upper-Body Strength Builder Workout," 31 Dec. 2018 However, a quick scan of the contest's rules includes no mention of contestants agreeing to any sort of ongoing filmed content as part of the contest (especially since most of the three-month period will be spent in participants' home cities). Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Pokémon Go creators launch AR-game contest that (nearly) resembles American Idol," 21 Dec. 2018 Still, as a quick scan of weather forecasts, climate visuals and hurricane warnings will reveal, the rainbow is not giving up easily. Sarah Dry, WSJ, "Weather Forecasts Should Get Over the Rainbow," 27 Sep. 2018 If a cactus is taken, then found, a quick scan will determine if the cactus had been stolen from the park. Charlie Lapastora, Fox News, "Park rangers using microchip technology to track down cactus thieves," 7 June 2018 Baskets are also good for spices in a cupboard – rather than rifling through your spice selection and becoming increasingly exasperated, grab the basket and have a quick scan through to save time and effort. Sophie Hines, House Beautiful, "6 Golden Rules for Decluttering Your Kitchen," 31 July 2017 To design the Sleepbuds for the most comfortable fit, Bose used 3-D scans to better understand ear geometry. Maya Mcdowell, House Beautiful, "Sleepbuds Are Noise-Masking Wireless Earphones That Are Comfortable Enough For Side Sleepers," 19 Feb. 2019 The London supermarket Costcutter, meanwhile, introduced a system in 2017 that allows customers to pay with a fingertip scan. Town & Country, "Is This the End of Cash?," 28 Jan. 2019 However, Henry Ford’s medical personnel pinpointed the diagnosis with an advanced scan known as a CT-angiogram. Thomas M. Burton, WSJ, "Hospitals Rush to Offer New Stroke Treatment," 26 Dec. 2018

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

Dictionary Entries near scan

scamperer

scampi

scamster

scan

Scand

Scandahoovian

scandal

Statistics for scan

Last Updated

14 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for scan

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

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More Definitions for scan

scan

verb

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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with scan

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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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