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



    BrE BrE//skæn//
    ; NAmE NAmE//skæn//
    Pregnancy, Medical examinations
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  1. 1[countable] a medical test in which a machine produces a picture of the inside of a person’s body on a computer screen after taking X-rays to have a brain scan Wordfinderbiopsy, diagnose, examine, sample, scan, swab, symptom, test, ultrasound, X-ray See related entries: Medical examinations
  2. 2[countable] a medical test for pregnant women in which a machine uses ultrasound to produce a picture of a baby inside its mother’s body to have a scan Wordfinderantenatal, child, conception, fetus, maternity leave, miscarriage, morning sickness, pregnant, scan, womb See related entries: Pregnancy
  3. 3[singular] the act of looking quickly through something written or printed, usually in order to find something a scan of the newspapers I had a quick scan down the guest list but couldn’t see my name.
  4. Word Originlate 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 A routine scan revealed abnormalities in the foetus. A scan revealed a small fracture in the hip area. The doctors took a scan of his thigh bone. At twenty weeks she had a scan and the midwife told her the baby looked fine. The brain scan revealed no signs of injury.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: scan