scan

verb
\ ˈskan \
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 \ 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

Next, Ash scanned the hairs with an ultraviolet laser, and analyzed the resulting tiny particles with the mass spectrometer. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Study brings us one step closer to solving 1994 thallium poisoning case," 25 Dec. 2018 Using New Horizon's Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI), NASA has been scanning space for any possible hazards, combining hundreds of LORRI images resulted in the target shot seen above. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "New Horizons Will Spend New Years Exploring Ultima Thule, a Billion Miles Past Pluto," 19 Dec. 2018 Police departments are already scanning crowds and protests to find and arrest people with outstanding warrants by cross referencing footage with social media profiles. Diana Budds, Curbed, "Facial recognition is becoming one of the 21st century’s biggest public space issues," 19 Oct. 2018 Bucking trend, an early-bird octogenarian quietly scans his newspaper, oblivious, by all appearances, to the frenzy. Cnt Editors, Condé Nast Traveler, "Loud, Crowded, Grease-Stained, and Gloriously Drunk: Where the World Eats After Hours," 8 Oct. 2018 Bird already scans licenses nationwide, but Angelica (the girl who tricked a cop with one ID) found a way around this with a fake ID printed in China, which lists her as a 21-year-old from Arkansas. Kaylen Ralph, Teen Vogue, "Teen "Scooter Outlaws" Are Getting Busted on Shareable Scooters," 24 Sep. 2018 For the necktie study, researchers at the University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein in Germany scanned the brains of 30 men, half of whom wore neckties. Laura Newberry, latimes.com, "Citing health study, Lancaster mayor wants to ban workplace necktie requirements for city employees," 12 July 2018 Unfolding story: In the other study, researchers scanned the brains of 105 boys with autism and 49 controls at age 3. Rachel Zamzow, Scientific American, "Brains of Children with Autism Show Unusual Folding Patterns," 9 July 2018 After his college graduation, Dustin scanned the West for hotshot openings. Alden Woods, azcentral, "Granite Mountain Hotshots: Five years on, Dustin DeFord's family finds peace in faith," 29 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Hertz with Clear launched their biometrics scans this week at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Dee-ann Durbin, The Seattle Times, "Hertz, Clear partner to speed rentals with biometric scans," 12 Dec. 2018 The archive even has a wishlist for its next 1.5 million scans, including anything cited on Wikipedia. Nathan Mattise, Ars Technica, "The Internet’s keepers? “Some call us hoarders—I like to say we’re archivists”," 7 Oct. 2018 The update will let Chrome utilize the existing Android fingerprint sensors and MacBook Pro Touch ID sensors for its scans. Chaim Gartenberg, The Verge, "Google adds fingerprint support to Chrome on Android and Mac in latest beta," 14 Sep. 2018 His 2009 Freightliner truck caught agents’ attention when an imaging system scan revealed an anomaly in his truck’s trailer, agents said. Jared Gilmour, sacbee, "Truck hauled wood shavings into US. Dusty, hidden hand gave away other cargo, agents say," 31 May 2018 But then scans of his head and neck revealed constriction in some arteries supplying the brain, which can cause intense headaches, the doctors wrote in the journal BMJ Case Reports, published Monday. Laignee Barron, Time, "A Competitive Eater Suffered a Rare 'Thunderclap' Headache Brought on by the World's Hottest Chili Pepper," 10 Apr. 2018 The Bundesliga club says a scan revealed the 17-year-old Sancho suffered a ligament injury on Friday in the Bundesliga win at Cologne. USA TODAY, "Dortmund forward Jadon Sancho out weeks with ankle injury," 6 Feb. 2018 This scan is then compared to a database of police mugshots. James Vincent, The Verge, "UK police are testing facial recognition on Christmas shoppers in London this week," 18 Dec. 2018 Regardless, the vista into the dining room is grand and facilitates a proper room scan. Steven Stolman, Town & Country, "A Clear-Eyed Assessment of the New Four Seasons—By Someone Who Loved the Old One," 7 Sep. 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

20 Jan 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

: 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

verb
\ ˈskan \
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 \
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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