American English

Definition of scan verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they scan
    he / she / it scans
    past simple scanned
    -ing form scanning
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  1. 1[transitive] to look at every part of something carefully, especially because you are looking for a particular thing or person synonym scrutinize scan something for something He scanned the horizon for any sign of land. scan something She scanned his face anxiously.
  2. 2[transitive, intransitive] to look quickly but not very carefully at a document, etc. scan something (for something) I scanned the list quickly for my name. scan through something (for something) She scanned through the newspaper over breakfast.
  3. 3[transitive] scan something to get an image of an object, a part of someone's body, etc. on a computer by passing X-rays , ultrasound waves or electromagnetic waves over it in a special machine Their brains are scanned so that researchers can monitor the progress of the disease.
  4. 4[intransitive, transitive] scan (something) (computing) (of a program) to examine a computer program or document in order to look for a virus This software is designed to scan all new files for viruses.
  5. 5[transitive] scan something (computing) to pass light over a picture or document using a scanner in order to copy it and put it in the memory of a computer How do I scan a photo and attach it to an e-mail?
  6. 6[transitive] scan something (of a light, radar, etc.) to pass across an area Concealed video cameras scan every part of the compound.
  7. 7[intransitive] (of poetry) to have a regular rhythm according to fixed rules This line doesn't scan.
  8. Phrasal Verbsscan something into something
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: scan