Try Our Apps


90s Slang You Should Know


[skan-er] /ˈskæn ər/
a person or thing that scans.
optical scanner.
See under optical scanning.
Photography. any device for exposing an image on film, a sensitized plate, etc., by tracing light along a series of many closely spaced parallel lines.
(in aerial photography) a device for estimating the ratio of aircraft speed to aircraft altitude.
a photoelectric device for scanning a picture to determine automatically the density of the hue or value in each area for transmission by wire or radio or for preparation of color process printing plates.
a computer-aided electronic system using photoelectric cells to separate copy, as color illustrations, into its primary colors, correct color copy, and produce a set of color separations ready for proofing or printing.
Radio. a radio receiver, used especially by police, firefighters, and the press, that continuously tunes to preselected frequencies, broadcasting any signal that it detects.
Medicine/Medical, Biology. a device for examining a body, organ, tissue, or other biologically active material.
Origin of scanner
First recorded in 1550-60; scan + -er1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for scanner
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Half an hour later, the scanner gave him another interruption pattern.

    Little Fuzzy Henry Beam Piper
  • Joe Brooks was hunched in front of the scanner, staring intently.

  • The ship lurched into a direction-change that threatened to wrench the hull apart, and the picture in the scanner reeled crazily.

    A Gift For Terra Fox B. Holden
  • I'll get this scanner set up again, and we'll be ready to load out.

    The Players Everett B. Cole
  • He peered at the scanner screen, then cried, "There he is, sir!"

British Dictionary definitions for scanner


a person or thing that scans
a device, usually electronic, used to measure or sample the distribution of some quantity or condition in a particular system, region, or area
an aerial or similar device designed to transmit or receive signals, esp radar signals, inside a given solid angle of space, thus allowing a particular region to be scanned
any of various devices used in medical diagnosis to obtain an image of an internal organ or part See CAT scanner, nuclear magnetic resonance scanner, ultrasound scanner
(informal) a television outside broadcast vehicle
short for optical scanner
(printing) an electronic device which scans printed material and converts it to digital form
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for scanner

1550s, "person who examines critically," agent noun from scan (v.). From 1927 as a type of mechanical device, in mid-20c. use especially of radar and medical devices; later of computer accessories.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for scanner

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for scanner

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for scanner