[ skan-er ]
See synonyms for scanner on
  1. a person or thing that scans.

  2. Also called op·ti·cal read·er [op-ti-kuhl ree-der], /ˈɒp tɪ kəl ˈri dər/, op·ti·cal scan·ner .Computers. a device that scans printed, handwritten, barcode, or other visual data and encodes it into digital format. : See also optical scanning.

  1. 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.

  2. (in aerial photography) a device for estimating the ratio of aircraft speed to aircraft altitude.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Radio. a radio receiver, used especially by police, firefighters, and the press, that continuously tunes to preselected frequencies, broadcasting any signal that it detects.

  6. Medicine/Medical, Biology. a device for examining a body, organ, tissue, or other biologically active material.: See also CAT scanner, MR scanner, PET scanner, sonogram.

Origin of scanner

First recorded in 1550–60; scan + -er1

Words Nearby scanner Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use scanner in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for scanner


/ (ˈskænə) /

  1. a person or thing that scans

  2. a device, usually electronic, used to measure or sample the distribution of some quantity or condition in a particular system, region, or area

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. informal a television outside broadcast vehicle

  4. short for optical scanner

  5. 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