[ skan ]
/ skæn /

verb (used with object), scanned, scan·ning.

verb (used without object), scanned, scan·ning.


Nearby words

  1. scamp,
  2. scamper,
  3. scampi,
  4. scamster,
  5. scamto,
  6. scan.,
  7. scand,
  8. scand.,
  9. scandal,
  10. scandal sheet

Origin of scan

1350–1400; Middle English scannen, variant of *scanden < Late Latin scandere to scan verse, Latin: to climb (see ascend)

Related formsscan·na·ble, adjectiveself-scanned, adjectiveun·scan·na·ble, adjectiveun·scanned, adjective

Can be confusedscam scan

Scan. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for scan

British Dictionary definitions for scan


/ (skæn) /

verb scans, scanning or scanned


the act or an instance of scanning
  1. the examination of a part of the body by means of a scannera brain scan; ultrasound scan
  2. the image produced by a scanner
Derived Formsscannable, adjective

Word Origin for scan

C14: from Late Latin scandere to scan (verse), from Latin: to climb

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

Word Origin and History for scan
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for scan


[ skăn ]


To move a finely focused beam of light or electrons in a systematic pattern over a surface in order to reproduce or sense and subsequently transmit an image.
To examine a body or a body part with a CAT scanner or similar scanning apparatus.
To search stored computer data automatically for specific data.


The act or an instance of scanning.
Examination of a body or body part by a CAT scanner or similar scanning apparatus.
A picture or an image that is produced by this means.
Related formsscanna•ble adj.scanner n.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.