WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2017
scan /skæn/USA pronunciation   v.,  scanned, scan•ning, n. 
  1. to examine (something) carefully;
    scrutinize:[+ object]scanning the crowd for his parents' faces.
  2. to read quickly or hastily:[+ object]scanned the newspaper.
  3. to observe repeatedly or in sweeping motions:[+ object]The lookouts scanned the horizon for enemy planes.
  4. Poetry[+ object] to analyze (poetry) in order to understand its meter.
  5. Poetry (of lines of poetry) to conform to or agree with the rules of meter:[no object]That poem doesn't scan.
  6. Computing to read (data) for use by a computer, esp. by means of a piece of equipment that records a picture for use by a computer:[+ object]to scan the photograph and reproduce it on the screen.
  7. Medicine to examine (a body part) with a scanner:[+ object]to scan the kidneys.

n. [countable]
  1. an act or instance of scanning.
  2. Medicine
    • Medicinean examination of a body part using a scanner.
    • the image or display so obtained:The scan shows a tumor in the lung.
See -scend-.
WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2017
scan  (skan),USA pronunciation v.,  scanned, scan•ning, n. 
  1. to glance at or over or read hastily:to scan a page.
  2. to examine the particulars or points of minutely;
  3. to peer out at or observe repeatedly or sweepingly, as a large expanse;
  4. Poetryto analyze (verse) as to its prosodic or metrical structure;
    read or recite (verse) so as to indicate or test the metrical form.
  5. Computingto read (data) for use by a computer or computerized device, esp. using an optical scanner.
  6. Radio and Television[Television.]to traverse (a surface) with a beam of light or electrons in order to reproduce or transmit a picture.
  7. Electronics[Radar.]to traverse (a region) with a beam from a radar transmitter.
  8. Medicineto examine (a body, organ, tissue, or other biologically active material) with a scanner.

  1. Poetryto examine the meter of verse.
  2. Poetry(of verse) to conform to the rules of meter.
  3. Radio and Television[Television.]to scan a surface or the like.

  1. an act or instance of scanning;
    close examination.
  2. Radio and Televisiona visual examination by means of a television camera, as for the purpose of making visible or relaying pictures from a remote place:a satellite scan of the dark side of the moon; video scans of property listings available to customers.
  3. Radio and Televisiona particular image or frame in such video observation or a photograph made from it.
  4. Medicine
    • Medicineexamination of the body or an organ or part, or a biologically active material, by means of a technique such as computed axial tomography, nuclear magnetic resonance, ultrasonography, or scintigraphy.
    • the image or display so obtained.
scanna•ble, adj. 
  • Late Latin scandere to scan verse, Latin: to climb (see ascend)
  • Middle English scannen, variant of *scanden 1350–1400
    • 1.See corresponding entry in Unabridged study, investigate, inspect, search.
    • 2.See corresponding entry in Unabridged skim.

  • Place NamesScandinavia.

  • Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

    scan /skæn/ vb (scans, scanning, scanned)
    1. (transitive) to scrutinize minutely
    2. (transitive) to glance over quickly
    3. (transitive) to read or analyse (verse) according to the rules of metre and versification
    4. (intransitive) to conform to the rules of metre and versification
    5. (transitive) to move a beam of light, electrons, etc, in a predetermined pattern over (a surface or region) to obtain information, esp either to sense and transmit or to reproduce a television image
    6. (transitive) to examine data stored on (magnetic tape, etc), usually in order to retrieve information
    7. to examine or search (a prescribed region) by systematically varying the direction of a radar or sonar beam
    8. to obtain an image of (a part of the body) by means of a scanner
    1. the act or an instance of scanning
    2. the examination of a part of the body by means of a scanner: a brain scan, ultrasound scan
    3. the image produced by a scanner
    Etymology: 14th Century: from Late Latin scandere to scan (verse), from Latin: to climb

    ˈscannable adj

    'scanning' also found in these entries:

    Word of the day: away | fair


    Report an inappropriate ad.
    Become a WordReference Supporter to view the site ad-free.