scan·ner | \ ˈska-nər \

Definition of scanner 

: one that scans: such as

a : a device for sensing recorded data (as in a bar code) a supermarket scanner

b : a radio receiver that sequentially scans a range of frequencies for a signal

c : a device that scans an image (such as a photograph) or document (such as a page of text) especially for use or storage on a computer

d : a medical device for scanning a living body to collect diagnostic information — see ct scanner

Examples of scanner in a Sentence

a price scanner at a supermarket

Recent Examples on the Web

Packages pass through a scanner at an Amazon fulfillment center in Baltimore in August 2017. Justin Lahart, WSJ, "Where Rising Inflation Really Hurts," 12 July 2018 Such a system would also theoretically involve a wearable device and an RFID scanner. Sy Mukherjee, Fortune, "Walmart Just Scored a Patent for a Blockchain-Based Health Care Records System," 22 June 2018 Magnets pull out metal cans, and an optical scanner detects plastic and directs puffs of air to lift milk jugs and other light containers out of the stream. Scott Dance,, "Rise of 'wishcycling,' plummeting value of paper and glass raise concerns about 'a new reality of recycling'," 20 June 2018 Arguably the best tool for eavesdropping in real time—by detecting the weak magnetic fields emitted by communicating neurons—comes with a huge caveat: Participants must keep their heads absolutely still inside an enormous scanner. Michael Price, Science | AAAS, "This wearable brain scanner could transform our understanding of how neurons ‘talk’," 21 Mar. 2018 The absentee ballots themselves are run through an optical scanner that records the vote, and the ballots are preserved afterward, meaning a recount is possible should one be ordered. Chris Potter,, "GOP officials claim voting irregularities in special Pa. election," 14 Mar. 2018 Privacy - Terms The gun was discovered as Thomas, a ticket counter staffer, was going through an airport x-ray scanner, reported WSOC. Mark Price, charlotteobserver, "American Airlines employee arrested at Charlotte airport with stolen gun, police say," 4 July 2018 According to the lawsuit, Atencio refused when Phoenix officers asked him to remove his shoes to go through a scanner at the county's Fourth Avenue Jail, which led to a struggle with the officers. Jessica Boehm, azcentral, "Phoenix awards $250,000 in Arpaio-era jail death," 6 June 2018 Police also announced plans for new fingerprint scanners to track the comings and goings of officers. Tim Prudente,, "Judge rebukes Baltimore police, says she won't send convicted lieutenant to prison," 9 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'scanner.' 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 scanner

1556, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for scanner

Last Updated

11 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for scanner

The first known use of scanner was in 1556

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More Definitions for scanner



English Language Learners Definition of scanner

: a device that reads or copies information or images into a computer

: a device that is used to see inside something

: a radio receiver that searches for a signal


scan·ner | \ ˈska-nər \

Kids Definition of scanner

: a device that converts a printed image (as text or a photograph) into a form a computer can display or alter


scan·ner | \ ˈskan-ər \

Medical Definition of scanner 

: a device (as a CT scanner) for making scans of a living body

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More from Merriam-Webster on scanner

See words that rhyme with scanner

Spanish Central: Translation of scanner

Nglish: Translation of scanner for Spanish Speakers

Comments on scanner

What made you want to look up scanner? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a magnificent or impressive array

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