- I UK [skæn] / US
Word forms "scan":
present tense I/you/we/they scan he/she/it scans present participle scanning past tense scanned past participle scanned
1) [transitive] to look at something very carefully, because you hope or expect to see a particular person or thingscan something for someone/something:
He scanned her face but there were no signs of emotion.anxiously/eagerly scan something:
Ella scanned the crowd for any sign of Geoff.
The pilot was anxiously scanning the sky for other air traffic.a) scan or scan through[intransitive/transitive] to read something very quickly, in order to get a general idea of its meaning or to find particular information
Merrill opened the letter, scanned it briefly, and threw it away.scan something for something:
Tony scanned through the television programmes in the local newspaper.
She scanned the paper for any news of them.b) [intransitive/transitive] if a machine or computer program scans something, it examines it in order to look for a particular thing
A program is supplied which scans for viruses and removes them.
Every fifty metres there was a camera scanning the road.c) [transitive] to examine an area using sonar or radar equipment in order to find objects in it
The spacecraft scans the Earth's oceans with radar instruments.2)a) [intransitive/transitive] to use a piece of equipment to read and store information in digital form
You can use photographs and then scan them onto your computer.scan in something (= scan something and store it in your computer):
His job was to scan barcodes in the store.scan something into something:
You can scan in a photograph of your home.
Documents are scanned into a computer and then converted to electronic form.b) if a piece of equipment scans a document, photograph etc, it changes it into a form that can be stored in a computer
A printer that can fax, scan, and copy saves space.3) [transitive] to use a piece of equipment to produce a picture of the inside of a part of your body
In one test, the subjects' brains were scanned while they read to themselves.a) to use a piece of equipment to produce a picture of the inside of an object
He waited while the X-ray machine scanned his luggage.b) to use a piece of equipment to see the developing baby in a pregnant woman4) [intransitive] literature if poetry scans, it has a regular rhythm (= pattern of beats)
These are poems that neither rhyme nor scan.
II UK [skæn] / US noun [countable]
Word forms "scan":
singular scan plural scans
1)a) a medical test that uses a special piece of equipment to produce a picture of the inside of your body
a brain scanb) a medical test that uses a special piece of equipment to produce a picture of a developing baby inside a pregnant woman2) an act of reading something very quickly, in order to get a general idea of its meaning or to find particular information
a quick scan of the morning post
English dictionary. 2014.