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

Component maker Synaptics figured out how to take a picture of fingers by looking in between the phone's pixels; Qualcomm created an ultrasonic sensor capable of scanning not only though screens but also metal ... and even underwater. Geoffrey Fowler, courant.com, "Future Phones: They Fold Like Napkins, Have 9 Cameras, Charge Over Thin Air," 6 July 2018 So officials decided to re-scan the absentee ballots. Pamela Wood, baltimoresun.com, "Still no victor as Baltimore County's final votes are tallied," 6 July 2018 People who suspect they have been infected should install antivirus protection from a name-brand provider and thoroughly scan their systems ASAP. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "Rash of Fortnite cheaters infected by malware that breaks HTTPS encryption," 3 July 2018 In addition, the California Department of Public Health will start scanning Parcel A using using sodium iodide detectors — a method that some environmentalists have said wouldn’t accurately determine the safety of the environment. J.k. Dineen, SFChronicle.com, "Building paused as questions linger over contamination at SF’s Hunters Point," 28 June 2018 The eye scans had been conducted using a technique called optical coherence tomography. The Economist, "The eye's structure holds information about the health of the mind," 28 June 2018 In conjunction with fundraising, historians are asking for school items, especially photographs and memorabilia from Canterbury Elementary School, be brought to them for scanning into the Greendale Schools Digital Archive. Darryl Enriquez, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Hidden away for nearly a half century, historic Hauser statue in Greendale might be revealed once more," 25 June 2018 Will Microsoft agree that companies should never scan your face without your permission? New York Times, "Microsoft Urges Congress to Regulate Use of Facial Recognition," 13 July 2018 According to BBC News, scientists from Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) discovered the temple while scanning the pyramid for structural issues. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "Earthquake Reveals 12th-Century Temple Hidden Within Aztec Pyramid," 12 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Rudolph questioned the accuracy of the scans, citing research saying that the scanners being developed are not exposed to a proper representation of minority and women, and therefore, can be inaccurate for those groups. Joel Langstein, Fox News, "Orlando Airport to start scanning faces of US citizens, officials say," 21 June 2018 After undergoing a series of head scans in Boston, it has been revealed that Liverppol's goalkeeper, Karius, suffered a concussion after Ramos appeared to elbow him following a Madrid corner. SI.com, "Sergio Ramos Makes Light of Role in Loris Karius's Concussion," 5 June 2018 Repo agents are responsible for the majority of the billions of license plate scans produced nationwide. Todd C. Frankel, chicagotribune.com, "Riding with the repo man: as auto loan defaults rise, car repossessions skyrocket," 16 May 2018 In 2015, British Egyptologist Nicholas Reeves proposed, after analysis of high-definition laser scans, that queen Nefertiti’s tomb could be concealed behind wall paintings in the famed boy king’s burial chamber. Washington Post, "Egypt says no hidden rooms in King Tut’s tomb after all," 6 May 2018 In place of their heads, however, are collaged images of the artist’s brain scans. Sharon Mizota, latimes.com, "In Katherine Sherwood's nude paintings, disability and race enter the picture," 2 Apr. 2018 After Illinois’s electronic voter database was breached in 2016, the state brought in DHS to do regular scans. Bloomberg.com, "States Rush to Defend 2018 Election From Russia After Late Start," 22 Feb. 2018 One of the ideas envisioned by Vivo is to take in a full body scan of a person and then feed that information to a beautification AI that would more intelligently and proportionately pretty you up. Vlad Savov, The Verge, "Vivo’s new face ID tech has 10 times as many sensor points as the iPhone X," 27 June 2018 In fMRI scans supplied by Huizenga, the brain of someone telling the truth appears in shades of black and white. Peter Rowe, sandiegouniontribune.com, "The truth about lying: we live in a golden age of lies — and lie-detecting," 28 May 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

13 Oct 2018

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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Comments on scan

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