scan·​ner | \ ˈska-nər How to pronounce scanner (audio) \

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

Unlike other airlines, which use scanners to calculate weights, Southwest baggage handlers do so by hand in a meticulous process that factors in the weight and positions of baggage, cargo, and passengers. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "FAA: Southwest Airlines Miscalculated Baggage Weights to an Alarming Degree," 19 Feb. 2019 Using the scanners, TSA screeners can zoom in on a bag's contents and rotate the image for a 360-degree view. Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica, "TSA might let you keep everything in carry-on bags—in five years or so," 24 July 2018 Hamilton County Jail uses body scanners to insure arrestees don't bring contraband into the system. Faith E. Pinho, Indianapolis Star, "Marion County Jail embraces iris-scanning technology for inmates," 25 June 2018 Errington’s proposal includes installing a new camera system, using ID scanners and setting a dress code, Wieteska said. Erin Sauder, Elgin Courier-News, "Bikini Bottom making 'progress' in finding ways to stop illegal activity, West Dundee chief says," 19 June 2018 Sign up for our daily newsletter and never miss our latest and greatest stories Science Nuclear physicists are using film scanners and computer analysis on old bomb test footage to uncover the weapons' secrets. Sarah Scoles, WIRED, "How a Uranium Hunter Sniffs Out Nuclear Weapons," 11 June 2018 Using handheld scanners, the inspectors who’d staked out the escalator checked the tickets and Clipper cards of each person. Michael Cabanatuan, San Francisco Chronicle, "BART cited 1,300 fare evaders in 2 months. Only about 100 paid up," 4 June 2018 Bruce Schneier, a computer security expert, said the most secure election systems use optical scanners to read ovals filled out on paper ballots. Michael Levenson,, "Election officials prepare for cyberattacks," 27 Mar. 2018 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

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

27 Feb 2019

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 How to pronounce scanner (audio) \

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 How to pronounce scanner (audio) \

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

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).


of or relating to a parable or parabola

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