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

Recently, researchers have used a smaller version of the scanner in studies of cancer, bone and joint health, with positive results. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Check Out These Awesome New 3D, Full-Color X-Rays," 13 July 2018 In Oakland, armed Panthers would listen to the police scanner, then race to the scene of arrests to deter police brutality. Deneen L. Brown, Washington Post, "‘I have all the guns and money’: When a woman led the Black Panther Party," 10 Jan. 2018 But Winkleman insists that the analog measurements, while infinitely slower than modern tools like laser scanners, produce a far more accurate model—a kind of gold master for any future replications or alterations of that weapon. Adam Fisher, WIRED, "A Landmark Legal Shift Opens Pandora’s Box for DIY Guns," 10 July 2018 Case in point is the Vivo Nex, which launched last month with ultra-slim bezels, an in-display fingerprint scanner, and an eye-catching pop-up selfie camera. James Vincent, The Verge, "The Vivo Nex and its pop-up selfie camera are going on sale in India and elsewhere," 9 July 2018 With or without membership, once fliers reach the metal detectors and body scanners, an aggressive security agent can compound stress and present the potential for conflict. Elaine Glusac, New York Times, "18 Ways to Navigate Stress at the Airport," 27 June 2018 Meanwhile, inside Loganworld, Dolores declares she's read enough books to get humanity's gist, and exits the brain scanner. Sandra Upson, WIRED, "Westworld Recap, Season 2 Episode 10: What Is Real?," 25 June 2018 Hospitals presumably use the same MRI scanner for different patients. Sarah Kliff, Vox, "The absurdity of American health care pricing, in one chart," 9 May 2018 With a scanning solid-state unit, putting your eye inches from the laser scanner could cause 100 percent of the laser light to flood into the eye. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Why spinning lidar sensors might be around for another decade," 7 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

6 Nov 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).


full of whispering sounds

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