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

Original paper documents can be scanned and downloaded to an external hard drive, flash drive, CD or DVD. Susan Tompor, Detroit Free Press, "Trump tax reform: Don't expect big tax break on losses from flooding, storms," 5 June 2019 People will have to then scan a QR code on their way out of the store to confirm payment. Ashley Carman, The Verge, "7-Eleven starts experimenting with cashier-less checkouts," 5 Nov. 2018 Over recent years, Xinjiang has been transformed into a vast security state , packed with police stations, street cameras and security checkpoints at which electronic identity cards are scanned. Christopher Bodeen, Fox News, "US lawmakers urge export restrictions targeting Xinjiang," 12 Sep. 2018 In extreme cases, pilots have only seconds to scan their instruments, switch between various computer readouts, discuss the situation and take action—as the cockpit fills with a cacophony of klaxons, chimes and other distracting warning sounds. Andy Pasztor, WSJ, "Flight-Simulator Enthusiasts Confident of Real-World Skills," 16 Aug. 2018 Anyone transporting the stuff will have to scan an RFID tag upon pickup and delivery. Nick Stockton, WIRED, "California Rules May Make Weed Shippers Report Themselves to the Feds," 13 May 2018 Under the new system, touch-screen machines would print a paper copy of voter’s ballots that would be electronically scanned. Cameron Mcwhirter, WSJ, "Georgia Bill to Replace Voting Machines Moves Forward," 13 Mar. 2019 The picker will grab that item, scan it, throw it into a tote, and that tote will go out to people packing packages. Chavie Lieber, Vox, "The human costs of Black Friday, explained by a former Amazon warehouse manager," 20 Nov. 2018 Electronically scanning the documents will help flag suspicious activity, and the most egregious cases will be farmed out to regional offices for more investigation. Elliott Spagat, chicagotribune.com, "Immigration crackdown shifts to employers as audits surge," 14 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The scans and testing would be repeated at intervals a year or more apart to track changes over time. Paula Spencer Scott, Woman's Day, "I Participated in a Clinical Study to See if I Had Dementia — Here's What I Learned," 26 Mar. 2019 The person interpreting the scan on-screen suggests that this result could mean that Honnold just needs a higher level of stimulation than your average person to register fear. Amy Marturana, SELF, "'Free Solo' Star Alex Honnold Explains How He Got Into the Terrifying Sport of Free Solo Climbing," 26 Feb. 2019 Then perhaps the scanning tasks will begin to divide based on the tasks that require the scans. Elizabeth Emens, WSJ, "The Stickiness of ‘Life Admin’," 30 Dec. 2018 The imaging scan showed that her hippocampus, the brain region that regulates memory, had severely atrophied and was in the 14th percentile for her age — 86 percent of peers were better off. Linda Marsa, Discover Magazine, "A New Treatment for Alzheimer's? It Starts With Lifestyle," 16 Nov. 2018 Comparing the scans and the cognitive tests showed that those people whose RNFL was in the thinnest fifth of the group were 11% more likely to fail at least one cognitive test than those with an RNFL in the thickest fifth. The Economist, "The eye's structure holds information about the health of the mind," 28 June 2018 Hit the fusion exhaust port: Also after the bio scan, the narrator instructs riders to shoot the opposite team’s fusion exhaust port (large red circle at the top of the vehicle). Kathleen Christiansen, OrlandoSentinel.com, "How to get a high score on Men in Black: Alien Attack," 26 June 2018 The elective scans are operated using Dual-energy X-ray absorptometry, also known as DXA. Nicole Aimone, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "DXA scanners offer patients a more complete look at bone, fat and muscle mass, especially for weight loss," 20 June 2018 The scans also make clear that paying attention requires more effort, and that these patients’ cortical structures show both early and long-term losses in volume. Melissa Healy, latimes.com, "What causes ‘chemobrain’? It’s time for neuroscientists to get serious about finding out, experts say," 13 June 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

9 Jun 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

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