verb (used with object), scanned, scan·ning.
verb (used without object), scanned, scan·ning.
- examination of the body or an organ or part, or a biologically active material, by means of a technique such as computed axial tomography, nuclear magnetic resonance, ultrasonography, or scintigraphy.
- the image or display so obtained.
Origin of scan
Synonyms for scan
verb scans, scanning or scanned
- the examination of a part of the body by means of a scannera brain scan; ultrasound scan
- the image produced by a scanner
Word Origin for scan
late 14c., "mark off verse in metric feet," from Late Latin scandere "to scan verse," originally, in classical Latin, "to climb, rise, mount" (the connecting notion is of the rising and falling rhythm of poetry), from PIE *skand- "to spring, leap, climb" (cf. Sanskrit skandati "hastens, leaps, jumps;" Greek skandalon "stumbling block;" Middle Irish sescaind "he sprang, jumped," sceinm "a bound, jump").
Missing -d in English is probably from confusion with suffix -ed (see lawn (n.1)). Sense of "look at closely, examine minutely (as one does when counting metrical feet in poetry)" first recorded 1540s. The (opposite) sense of "look over quickly, skim" is first attested 1926. Related: Scanned; scanning.
1706, "close investigation," from scan (v.). Meaning "act of scanning" is from 1937; sense of "image obtained by scanning" is from 1953.