scan

verb
\ ˈskan How to pronounce scan (audio) \
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 How to pronounce scan (audio) \ 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 Users can now scan food and wine labels to see nutritional information using Snapchat. Tim Van Der Wiel, Forbes, "Why Your Brand Should Be Excited About Using AR Right Now," 27 Apr. 2021 On Friday, someone would first scan a ballot and project it on screens in front of the three counters before putting the actual ballot on a turntable. Jen Fifield, The Arizona Republic, "Journalists gain access to Arizona election audit; about 2M ballots still to count," 27 Apr. 2021 After the initial set up, which Amazon says takes less than a minute, shoppers can scan their hand at the register to pay for groceries without having to open their wallets. Joseph Pisani, Star Tribune, "Amazon begins rollout of pay-by-palm at Whole Foods near HQ," 21 Apr. 2021 Consumers looking to purchase items for sale, such as hair conditioner, must scan the QR codes displayed on the shelf to order them for home delivery on Amazon’s U.K. website. Katie Deighton, WSJ, "Amazon Does Haircuts Now," 20 Apr. 2021 An employee stationed at or near your seating area will scan your ticketupon entry and give you a wristband. Dahlia Ghabour, The Courier-Journal, "From 'jarcuterie' to all-inclusive, how the food, drinks will look for Kentucky Derby 2021," 19 Apr. 2021 So you may soon be asked to scan a QR code on your smartphone to attend sporting events or concerts, cross borders, fly commercial airlines, and even enter a restaurant or your office building. Donavyn Coffey, SELF, "Vaccine Passports: What You Need to Know After Your COVID-19 Shot," 16 Apr. 2021 Keep your phone out; staffers will scan and verify tickets without contact. Dom Amore, courant.com, "Yard Goats announce health and safety protocols for games at Dunkin’ Donuts Park," 14 Apr. 2021 If digitizing physical recipes is preferred, apps such as CookBook and Whisk can scan a photo of a cookbook page and convert it to a digital recipe, which can be translated aloud with screen reader software. Stephanie Breijo, Los Angeles Times, "Cooking tips and tools for the blind and disabled," 9 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The team, who since 2015 have been working to thoroughly examine human and animal mummies from Ancient Egypt at the National Museum in Warsaw, uncovered the body's true identity after spotting a tiny foot in the abdomen on a scan. Lianne Kolirin, CNN, "First pregnant Egyptian mummy surprises researchers," 30 Apr. 2021 The animated work depicts a 3D scan of a brown egg and a cigarette lighter slowly colliding and moving through each other. Kelly Crow, WSJ, "Artists Jump Into NFTs, Seeing a Digital Bonanza," 5 Apr. 2021 Yes, the Fuel could use a dedicated hit-scan player. Sean Collins, Dallas News, "What should the Dallas Fuel do with its remaining roster holes?," 3 Nov. 2020 After an echocardiogram, a heart nuclear medicine scan, a chest x-ray, and other tests came back negative, doctors finally ordered a lung CT scan in early July. Robert Langreth, Bloomberg.com, "Brain Deficits, Nerve Pain Can Torment Covid Patients for Months," 28 Aug. 2020 The scan is clear, but there's a clot in her liver that is probably causing the trouble. Lincee Ray, EW.com, "Grey's Anatomy recap: Meredith is finally awake!," 23 Apr. 2021 The first is the time, expense and radiation dose of the scan. Dr. Keith Roach, oregonlive, "Dear Doctor: After living with secondhand smoke all my life, should I get screened for lung cancer?," 21 Apr. 2021 Authorities noticed black tape and dark wrapping around a large organic mass after the second scan. Frank Miles, Fox News, "Houston police say crystal meth found in breakfast burrito," 19 Apr. 2021 Do the scan when there is at least a 20-degree difference between inside and outside temperatures. Washington Post, "What to do about a cold bathroom that chills the whole house?," 5 Apr. 2021

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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Time Traveler for scan

Time Traveler

The first known use of scan was in the 14th century

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Statistics for scan

Last Updated

8 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Scan.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/scan. Accessed 17 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for scan

scan

verb

English Language Learners Definition of scan

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: 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

noun

English Language Learners Definition of scan (Entry 2 of 2)

: the act of looking at something carefully or quickly
: the act or process of using a special machine to see the inside of something (such as a part of the body)
: a picture of the inside of something that is made by a special machine

scan

verb
\ ˈskan How to pronounce scan (audio) \
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 How to pronounce scan (audio) \
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

More from Merriam-Webster on scan

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for scan

Nglish: Translation of scan for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of scan for Arabic Speakers

Comments on scan

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