Definition of “scan” - English Dictionary

“scan” in English

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uk /skæn/ us /skæn/ -nn-

scan verb (LOOK)

C2 [ T ] to look at something carefully, with the eyes or with a machine, in order to get information:

She anxiously scanned the faces of the men leaving the train.
Doug scanned the horizon for any sign of the boat.

C1 [ I + adv/prep, T ] to look through a text quickly in order to find a piece of information that you want or to get a general idea of what the text contains:

I scanned through the booklet but couldn't find the address.
Scan the newspaper article quickly and make a note of the main points.

scan verb (MAKE PICTURE)

C1 [ I or T ] to use a machine to put a picture of a document into a computer, or to take a picture of the inside of something:

I'll just scan the article into the computer.
Volunteers' brains were scanned while they looked at the pictures.
All hand luggage has to be scanned.

scan verb (POEM)

[ I ] specialized literature If a poem or part of a poem scans, it follows a pattern of regular beats:

This line doesn't scan - it has too many syllables.


uk /skæn/ us /skæn/

(Definition of “scan” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

“scan” in American English

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scanverb [ I/T ]

us /skæn/ -nn-

to examine something carefully:

[ I ] This technique is used to scan for defective genes.

If an image or text on paper is scanned into a computer, it is changed into electronic information by a special device:

[ T ] A little hand-held device beeps as soon as it has scanned a bar code.

If you scan a text you read it quickly:

[ T ] I scanned a few pages of the book and thought it looked interesting.

scannoun [ C ]

us /skæn/

the act of looking at or through something carefully or quickly:

A quick scan of my calendar shows that I’m pretty busy this week.
a security scan of passengersbags

A scan is an examination of the inside of something, such as part of the body or a package, using a computerized device to produce an image of what cannot be seen with the eyes:

a medical scan of the head

(Definition of “scan” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

“scan” in Business English

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scanverb [ T ]

uk /skæn/ us -nn-

IT, COMMERCE to use a piece of electronic equipment to get information from something such as a bank card or a product's barcode:

The barcode is scanned to get the price of the product.

IT to use a machine to make a copy of a document or picture and put it into a computer:

He scanned the document and emailed it to the head office.

to look through a text quickly in order to find a piece of information that you want or to get a general idea of what it is about:

I scanned the article looking for details, but didn't find anything.


uk /skæn/ us

[ C ] IT a picture of a document that has been put into a computer:

The machine received a good score for its color scans.

[ S ] a quick look through something, especially in order to check that it is good enough:

Can you give this letter a quick scan?

(Definition of “scan” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

Translations of “scan”
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