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

Computers scan for stocks and look for ones in play. Paul R. La Monica, CNN, "Confused investors keep buying FORD, thinking it's Ford," 12 Aug. 2019 Amazon scans a merchant’s prices for listings on its Marketplace platform and compares them to that same merchant’s listings on other platforms, like Walmart and eBay. Nick Statt, The Verge, "Amazon is encouraging third-party sellers to raise prices on Walmart or risk losing perks," 5 Aug. 2019 Google also released a program called Inbox, which scanned messages and tried to organize them by topic, like travel. Ian Bogost, The Atlantic, "Work Ruined Email," 2 Aug. 2019 In one stretch of six plays, Derek Carr (once) and Nathan Peterman (twice) scanned the field for receivers and did not attempt a throw. Matt Kawahara, SFChronicle.com, "Raiders practice report: New RT Trent Brown establishing a big presence," 29 July 2019 But words can get mangled when a document has been printed, scanned, and read into a computer with optical character recognition software. Jeremy B. Merrill, Quartz, "How Quartz used AI to help reporters search the Mauritius Leaks," 23 July 2019 Drivers who don’t have E-ZPass transponders will have their license plates scanned and bills mailed to their homes. Pamela Wood, baltimoresun.com, "Maryland Gov. Hogan proposes more toll changes, but offers few details," 19 July 2019 The installation of systems at four public access points would scan visitor identification and perform basic background checks and print visitor identification tags. Denise Coffey, courant.com, "School Security Grant Heads To Town Meeting," 15 July 2019 Harvati and her team CT-scanned the fossils, and then two of the team members separately worked on virtual reconstructions, each using two different protocols in an attempt to reduce bias while digitally tweaking the fossils. Maya Wei-haas, National Geographic, "Enigmatic skull may be the oldest modern human outside Africa. But questions abound.," 10 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

As first revealed by ZDNet and Android Police, Google employees have been roving the streets of American cities, offering $5 gift certificates in exchange for a facial scan. Dieter Bohn, The Verge, "Google’s ‘field research’ offered people $5 to scan their faces for the Pixel 4," 29 July 2019 The city of Rome unveiled three test machines Tuesday around metro stations where passengers can drop plastic water bottles, receiving five cents apiece through a scan on their phones. Washington Post, "Rome tests recycling bottles for transit cash," 25 July 2019 Blood tests, physical exams, and even a brain scan all came back normal. SELF, "My Whole Identity Was Health and Wellness. My Reality Was Disordered Eating.," 24 July 2019 Should customers be pleased that a company that sells health insurance can calculate their body fat percentage with a face scan? Fortune, "China’s Biggest Private Sector Company Is Betting Its Future on Data," 22 July 2019 Sunday, the Spurs’ incoming rookies settled in for a video-game face scan that has become an NBA rite of passage. Jeff Mcdonald, ExpressNews.com, "For Spurs’ incoming rookies, the bond is real," 8 July 2019 Parental supervision, swimming lessons, window guards, a last scan before locking a car, age-appropriate rules on what children can and can’t do during their vacations -- all of these can save lives, the speakers said. Josh Kovner, courant.com, "Summer safety forum at Connecticut Children’s stresses parental supervision, provides sobering stats on fireworks, drownings, lawnmower accidents, falls from windows, hot-car deaths," 3 July 2019 Current tools such as brain scans and spinal fluid tests are too expensive or impractical for regular check-ups. CBS News, "Scientists close in on blood test for Alzheimer's," 16 July 2019 There, Gracie was given a series of tests including an electrocardiogram (EKG), a head scan, and blood pressure tests — all of which came back normal. Dave Quinn, PEOPLE.com, "Tennessee Woman Calls Attention to Rare Medical Condition Triggered by Styling Children's Hair," 16 July 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

Dictionary Entries near scan

scamperer

scampi

scamster

scan

Scand

Scandahoovian

scandal

Statistics for scan

Last Updated

18 Aug 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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