Definition of


  1. (noun, act) the act of scanning; systematic examination of a prescribed region
  2. (noun, artifact) an image produced by scanning
    you could see the tumor in the CAT scan
  3. (verb, cognition) obtain data from magnetic tapes
  4. (verb, communication) read metrically
  5. (verb, contact) make a wide, sweeping search of
  6. (verb, motion) move a light beam over; in electronics, to reproduce an image
  7. (verb, perception) examine hastily
  8. (verb, perception) examine minutely or intensely
  9. (verb, stative) conform to a metrical pattern

via WordNet, Princeton University

Synonyms of Scan

cat scan, glance over, rake, read, run down, skim

Origin of the word Scan

  1. late 14c., "mark off verse in metric feet," from L.L. scandere "to scan verse," originally, in classical L., "to climb" (the connecting notion is of the rising and falling rhythm of poetry), from PIE *skand- "to spring, leap" (cf. Skt. skandati "hastens, leaps, jumps;" Gk. skandalon "stumbling block;" M.Ir. sescaind "he sprang, jumped," sce… more

via Online Etymology Dictionary, ©2001 Douglas Harper

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