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

Spectators go through security in the lobby of the building and need to remove their shoes to go through a second metal detector and X-ray bag scanner on the eighth floor. Claudia Torrens, The Seattle Times, "El Chapo trial becomes New York’s latest tourist attraction," 18 Dec. 2018 Brochin noted how, at one point, there was a three-vote discrepancy between the number of physical absentee ballots and the number of votes that showed on the scanner — leading elections judges to re-scan that entire round of absentee ballots. Pamela Wood,, "Jim Brochin to call for recount after 9-vote loss in primary for Baltimore County executive," 7 July 2018 Reports via fire scanners and former firefighters on Twitter estimated the fire's size at about 350-400 acres with no containment as of 3:30 p.m., growing from about 70 acres an hour earlier. Michael Mcgough, sacbee, "Large, fast-growing fire breaks out in Yolo County," 30 June 2018 In summer 2012, Trend Micro researchers noticed some unusual activity cropping up on their threat-tracking scanner. Lily Hay Newman, WIRED, "Inside the Takedown of a Notorious Malware Clearinghouse," 16 May 2018 Founded in 1979, Irvine, Calif.-based Ingram is one of the largest distributors of personal computers and other technology products, including printers, scanners, TVs, video-game consoles, and software. Miriam Gottfried, WSJ, "HNA in Talks to Sell Ingram Micro to Apollo Global," 21 Dec. 2018 In recent years, tools to measure human-brain activity while people are active—rather than sitting still in giant scanners—have improved and become more widely available. Daniela Hernandez, WSJ, "Brain Scans Can Detect Who Has Better Skills," 3 Oct. 2018 Not least of which is its buying power, which may help purchasing talks on items ranging from pacemakers to hip implants to MRI scanners. Lawrence Specker,, "UAB-Infirmary Health alliance could have big impact on Alabama care," 29 Mar. 2018 And those sometimes-tense conversations are out there for everybody with access to a radio scanner to hear. Mike Hembree, USA TODAY, "Rising driver Ryan Blaney and crew chief Jeremy Bullins hitting on all cylinders," 29 Mar. 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

30 Jan 2019

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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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with scanner

Spanish Central: Translation of scanner

Nglish: Translation of scanner for Spanish Speakers

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