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

Other Words from scan

Verb

scannable \ ˈska-​nə-​bəl How to pronounce scan (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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb To register, visit www.neomasterraingardener.org or scan the QR code provided. Shirley Macfarland, cleveland, 13 Jan. 2022 As the company got ready to launch Spaces to Twitter users with over 600 followers in May, employees began asking whether Spaces would deploy technological tools to scan audio for rule violations. Anchorage Daily News, 10 Dec. 2021 As the company got ready to launch Spaces to Twitter users with over 600 followers in May, employees began asking whether Spaces would deploy technological tools to scan audio for rule violations. Anchorage Daily News, 10 Dec. 2021 Grover said one solution could be as simple as adding a bar code to home testing kits that links to a website or app that allows users to scan or call and report results. Kathleen Mclaughlin, STAT, 10 Dec. 2021 The Met will house the archive, and its conservation department will preserve and scan the negatives. Livia Gershon, Smithsonian Magazine, 10 Dec. 2021 PetDx’s test is similar to Grail’s in that both use complex algorithms to scan DNA sequences for telltale signs of cancer. San Diego Union-Tribune, 9 Dec. 2021 As the company got ready to launch Spaces to Twitter users with over 600 followers in May, employees began asking whether Spaces would deploy technological tools to scan audio for rule violations. Washington Post, 9 Dec. 2021 Once installed, the soft hands will grasp the pieces, 3-D-scan them, and send the data to the puzzling-solving AI, which will attempt to find virtual matches. Jen Pinkowski, Scientific American, 6 Dec. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Eventually, Hannah went back to the doctor for a scan and some blood tests. Ella Glover, refinery29.com, 17 Jan. 2022 Medicare would pay for a single brain-amyloid scan under the policy. Joseph Walker, WSJ, 11 Jan. 2022 Seat installation was expected to begin nearly three weeks ago, although no seats were seen during a scan with binoculars Saturday looking down from the Serra Mesa hillside above the stadium. San Diego Union-Tribune, 3 Jan. 2022 Run a scan with your security software to uncover something that shouldn’t be there. Kim Komando, USA TODAY, 27 Dec. 2021 For one scan, the team gave each person a low dose of Lorazepam, a benzodiazepine known to enhance the effect of GABA. Max G. Levy, Wired, 22 Nov. 2021 Her daughter had been taken for a scan after throwing up blood. oregonlive, 16 Aug. 2021 The process is something like that for a medical M.R.I. scan. New York Times, 30 July 2021 The original print for this scan does not have the face. Los Angeles Times, 28 July 2021

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.

See More

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

Buying Guide

Our team at The Usage has selected the best scanner for documents and photos.

Learn More About scan

Time Traveler for scan

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near scan

scamster

scan

Scand

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for scan

Last Updated

20 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Scan.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/scan. Accessed 25 Jan. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

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

More from Merriam-Webster on scan

Nglish: Translation of scan for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of scan for Arabic Speakers

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Flower Edition

Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!