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 scannable (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

Shoppers can browse products online before visiting the gallery and are even able to use the 1stdibs smartphone app to scan items for more details. Monique Valeris, ELLE Decor, "1stdibs Just Opened a Stunning NYC Gallery," 14 Feb. 2019 When the promotion begins, participants will twist off the cookie and scan it with their cellphone or tablet, which will use image recognition technology to reveal an animated OREO cookie on your device. Taylor Mead, House Beautiful, "OREO Teamed Up With Jonathan Adler, Gray Malin, And Roomba To Bring You Insane Prizes," 25 Jan. 2019 Component maker Synaptics figured out how to take a picture of fingers by looking in between the phone’s pixels; Qualcomm created an ultrasonic sensor capable of scanning not only through screens but also metal … and even underwater. Geoffrey Fowler, Philly.com, "Whoa! Meet the future phones that fold up, have 9 cameras, and charge over thin air," 1 July 2018 Moreno scans the internet for viral content that incorporates music made by Create’s roster of acts or artists in whom Moreno sees earning potential. Billboard Staff, Billboard, "48 Music Biz Jobs of Tomorrow -- And How to Get Them," 28 June 2018 The mission scanned 500 squares miles a day during a three-month search. Author: Cleve R. Wootson Jr., Anchorage Daily News, "Experts think they’ve finally solved a big mystery of the doomed Malaysia Airlines flight," 15 May 2018 The system scans the road ahead with an infrared camera and projects the image on a small screen in the gauge cluster. Michael Simari, Car and Driver, "2018 Audi A6," 22 Mar. 2018 Next, Ash scanned the hairs with an ultraviolet laser, and analyzed the resulting tiny particles with the mass spectrometer. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Study brings us one step closer to solving 1994 thallium poisoning case," 25 Dec. 2018 Using New Horizon's Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI), NASA has been scanning space for any possible hazards, combining hundreds of LORRI images resulted in the target shot seen above. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "New Horizons Will Spend New Years Exploring Ultima Thule, a Billion Miles Past Pluto," 19 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The London supermarket Costcutter, meanwhile, introduced a system in 2017 that allows customers to pay with a fingertip scan. Town & Country, "Is This the End of Cash?," 28 Jan. 2019 However, Henry Ford’s medical personnel pinpointed the diagnosis with an advanced scan known as a CT-angiogram. Thomas M. Burton, WSJ, "Hospitals Rush to Offer New Stroke Treatment," 26 Dec. 2018 Not only did an Internet scan show that 40,000 such gateways were running in other networks, but a large percentage of them were exposing a staggering amount of sensitive data about the networks they were connected to. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "In-vehicle wireless devices are endangering emergency first responders," 9 Aug. 2018 About one hour into the episode, an ultrasound scan of the heart also showed an aortic dissection, a potentially lethal condition in which blood is forced between the inner and outer layers of the aorta, Lundsgaard said. Mark Lieber, CNN, "Patient remains awake for 90 minutes of CPR, doctor says," 4 June 2018 An fMRI scan detects changes in blood flow that are assumed to be linked to neural activity. Tanya Lewis, Scientific American, "Superslow Brain Waves May Play a Critical Role in Consciousness," 23 May 2018 Alternatives do exist, however—MorphoSource is an online archive that allows researchers to store and share 3D scans of fossils, for instance. Lydia Pyne, Ars Technica, "Rising Star found a new species—now it wants to find a new way for paleoanthropology," 20 Dec. 2018 Now, the federal government says that at least 97% of hospitals have electronic health records, which are used to document everything from doctor visits to imaging scans. Anna Wilde Mathews, WSJ, "New Rules Could Ease Patients’ Access to Their Own Health Records," 11 Feb. 2019 As part of the pre-surgery process, these patients had brain-wave detectors—specifically, implanted EEG monitors—and the researchers could use them to get high-resolution brain-wave scans. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Scientists Translate Brain Waves Into Speech," 30 Jan. 2019

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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Learn More about scan

Dictionary Entries near scan

scamperer

scampi

scamster

scan

Scand

Scandahoovian

scandal

Statistics for scan

Last Updated

17 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for scan

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

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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

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More from Merriam-Webster on scan

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with scan

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for scan

Spanish Central: Translation of scan

Nglish: Translation of scan for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of scan for Arabic Speakers

Comments on scan

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