Meaning of SCAN in English


I. ˈskan, -aa(ə)n verb

( scanned ; scanned ; scanning ; scans )

Etymology: Middle English scannen, from Late Latin scandere to climb, scan verses, from Latin, to climb; akin to Greek skandalon trap, stumbling block, offense, Sanskrit skandati he leaps, Middle Irish scendim I leap

transitive verb


a. : to analyze (verse) so as to exhibit rhythmic and especially metrical structure

b. : to indicate rhythmic or metrical structure of (verse)

2. archaic : to test the correctness, importance, or value of : judge critically

know then thyself, presume not God to scan — Alexander Pope



(1) : to make an intensive examination of (a small area)

scanning each vein of rock for the telltale glint of yellow metal — R.A.Billington

scanned their faces as they passed — Joseph Conrad

scanned closely the claims of individuals as against the state — B.R.Trimble

(2) : to check (as a magnetic tape or a punch card) for recorded data by means of a mechanical or electronic device

b. : to make a thorough search of (a wide area) usually by eye (as by moving one's eyes in repeated sweeping motions from side to side)

scanning the forest with binoculars, on the lookout for fire — Isaac Rosenfeld

scan the field of medicine — Sara Jordan

c. : to look through or over hastily

read several and scan the rest — Kermit Ely

scanned the film advertisements — D.M.Davin

4. archaic : discern

not wise enough to scan his best concerns aright — William Cowper

5. obsolete : to explain the meaning of : interpret


a. : to subject (as an image or picture) to scanning

b. : to cause a narrow beam of light to shine through (a sound track) or to traverse (an object) in order to translate light modulations into a corresponding electrical current

c. : to direct a succession of radar beams so that they traverse (a prescribed area) in searching for a target

intransitive verb

1. : to scan verse

2. : to admit of being scanned : conform to or reveal a definite metrical pattern

Synonyms: see scrutinize

II. noun

( -s )

1. : the act or process of scanning : a close examination

the captain spins the periscope, making a quick scan of the situation — E.L.Beach

2. : range of vision : apprehension

the authors' scan was limited — Current Biography

3. : a radar display

III. transitive verb

1. : to make a scan of (as a human body)

2. : to pass over in the formation of an image

the electron beam scans the picture tube

IV. noun


a. : a depiction (as a photograph) of the distribution of radioactive material in something (as a body organ)

b. : an image of a bodily part produced (as by computer) by combining ultrasonographic or radiographic data obtained from several angles or sections

2. : trace 5c

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.