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

Prominent American flags are hard to ignore when scanning footage of lynchings and Klan rallies from the ‘40s, ‘50s and ‘60s. Damon Young, Time, "How I Came to View the American Flag as a Threat," 12 Sep. 2019 The study also reported that 40,000 containers—just over half of those scanned—had insecure defaults, while 56% of organizations had at least one publicly open SSH service. Rob Pegoraro, Ars Technica, "“Everything as a service” is coming—but we’re not there quite yet," 10 Sep. 2019 The area around the kelp, via paddling and occasionally stopping to float and scan, is the No. 1 destination. Tom Stienstra, SFChronicle.com, "The best way to see Monterey? From the water," 6 Sep. 2019 To begin a search at a site, collectors slowly walk across miles of exposures of strata, carefully scanning the ground for bone on the surface. Hans-dieter Sues, Smithsonian, "How to Discover Dinosaurs," 3 Sep. 2019 People want to send me stuff that somebody’s scanned. Sean Keeler, The Denver Post, "How the Broncos joined the NFL’s playbook revolution from back pockets to iPads," 31 Aug. 2019 The unexpected signal has emerged in data from the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, a NASA observatory that scans the sky from its outpost in low-Earth orbit. Quanta Magazine, "The Sun Is Stranger Than Astrophysicists Imagined," 27 Aug. 2019 The three-step inspection process begins with the devices being scanned by a machine for defects. Bloomberg News, oregonlive, "What’s behind the persistent shortage of lifesaving EpiPens?," 23 Aug. 2019 More than 100 million receipts have been scanned into the app, the company said. Sarah Hauer, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "More than 1 million people use this app each month to be rewarded for brand loyalty," 20 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The technology matches a scan of the passenger's face taken at the gate and with an existing passport photo already on file with U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Dallas News, "Facial-recognition now being used at DFW Airport to board American Airlines international flights," 27 Aug. 2019 In keeping with its title, the masterly final novel by Drndić, who died last year, suggests a brain scan of its narrator, a dying author and psychologist. Sam Knight, The New Yorker, "Briefly Noted," 12 Aug. 2019 The team has created a 3-D scan of Frank’s hiding place to see how sounds might have traveled to nearby buildings. National Geographic, "A cold case team is searching for who betrayed Anne Frank," 2 Aug. 2019 Google's top result is a scan of the device's user manual, but at the top of that page, there's a link to an overview of the device itself. Jim Salter, Ars Technica, "Ars reviews three cell signal boosters—and they actually work," 1 Aug. 2019 The feature uses components, including lasers and sensors, on the front of the iPhone X to create a 3D scan of a person’s face. Don Reisinger, Fortune, "Here's Why Apple's Face ID Has a Two-Year Advantage Over Android Alternatives," 20 Mar. 2018 The training used simulated scans of data that looked like images from a human body but were actually artificial. Julie Grisham, Scientific American, "Faster, clearer PET images offer new views on disease," 9 July 2019 The app’s developers used 3-D scans of Neil Armstrong’s space suit and of the Lunar Command Module, which placed the astronauts on the moon, in order to authentically replicate the feeling and the scale of the landing. Michael Waters, Smithsonian, "The Augmented Reality App That Lets You Experience the Moon Landing," 25 June 2019 Although there isn't a specific test that can be used to definitively diagnose Parkinson's, doctors may use brain scans, blood tests, and other exams to rule out other options. Sarah Jacoby, SELF, "The Weird Dream Symptom That Made Alan Alda Suspect He Had Parkinson’s Disease," 31 July 2018

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

15 Sep 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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