Definition of scan verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

     

    scan

     verb
    verb
    BrE BrE//skæn//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//skæn//
     
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they scan
    BrE BrE//skæn//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//skæn//
     
    he / she / it scans
    BrE BrE//skænz//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//skænz//
     
    past simple scanned
    BrE BrE//skænd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//skænd//
     
    past participle scanned
    BrE BrE//skænd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//skænd//
     
    -ing form scanning
    BrE BrE//ˈskænɪŋ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈskænɪŋ//
     
    Operations, Medical examinations
     
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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 somebody’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. See related entries: Operations, Medical examinations
  4. 4[transitive] scan something (of a light, radar, etc.) to pass across an area Concealed video cameras scan every part of the compound.
  5. 5[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.
  6. 6[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 email?
  7. 7 [intransitive] (of poetry) to have a regular rhythm according to fixed rules This line doesn't scan.
  8. Word Origin late Middle English (as a verb in sense (5)): from Latin scandere ‘climb’ (in late Latin ‘scan (verses)’), by analogy with the raising and lowering of one's foot when marking rhythm. From ‘analyse (metre)’ arose the senses ‘estimate the correctness of’ and ‘examine minutely’, which led to ‘look at searchingly’ (late 18th cent.).Extra examples He scanned through the web pages. I scanned the paper for news. My eyes scanned across the horizon. She scanned the street nervously, looking for the two men. I scanned the list quickly, looking for my name. She scanned his face anxiously, trying to see if he was lying to her. You should teach students to scan for essential information. Phrasal Verbsscan something into something
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: scan