From Middle English scannen (“to mark off verse to show metrical structure”), from earlier *scanden, from Late Latin scandere (“to scan verse”), from Classical Latin scandō (“I climb, rise, mount”), from Proto-Indo-European *skend- (“to jump, dart, climb, scale, scan”).
- (transitive) To examine sequentially, carefully, or critically; to scrutinize; to behold closely. [from 16th C.]
- She scanned the passage carefully but could not find what she was looking for.
- 1927-29, M.K. Gandhi, The Story of My Experiments with Truth, translated 1940 by Mahadev Desai, Part I, Chapter ii:
- Yet the incident did not in the least diminish my respect for my teacher. I was by nature blind to the faults of elders. Later I came to know of many other failings of this teacher, but my regard for him remained the same. For I had learnt to carry out the orders of elders, not to scan their actions.
- 2020 December 2, Paul Bigland, “My weirdest and wackiest Rover yet”, in Rail, page 68:
- As the 1857 to Manchester Piccadilly rolls in, I scan the windows and realise there are plenty of spare seats, so I hop aboard. The train is a '221'+'220' combo to allow for social distancing - a luxury on an XC train as normally you're playing sardines, so I make the most of it.
- (transitive) To look about for; to look over quickly. [from 19th C.]
- He scanned the horizon.
- (computing, transitive) To create a digital copy of an image using a scanner.
- to scan a photograph
- Pencil drawings don't scan very well.
- (computing, transitive) To read with an electronic device.
- to scan a barcode
- to scan a QR code
- (obsolete, transitive, originally) To mount by steps; to go through with step by step.
- 1816, Lord Byron, “Canto III”, in Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage. Canto the Third, London: Printed for John Murray, […], OCLC 1015450009, stanza LXIII, page 36:
- But ere these matchless heights I dare to scan, / There is a spot should not be pass'd in vain,— / Morat ! the proud, the patriot field ! where man / May gaze on ghastly trophies of the slain, […]
- (poetry, transitive) To read or mark so as to show a specific metre. [from 14th C.]
- to scan verse
- (poetry): scansion
scan (plural scans)
- Close investigation. [from 1700s]
- (computing) An instance of scanning.
- The operators vacated the room during the scan.
- (computing) The result or output of a scanning process.
- The doctors looked at the scans and made a diagnosis.
- Douglas Harper (2001–2022), “scan”, in Online Etymology Dictionary.
- scan in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913
- scan in The Century Dictionary, New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911
- scan at OneLook Dictionary Search