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scan - definition and synonyms

 
 
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verb scan pronunciation in British English /skæn/
Word Forms
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present tense
I/you/we/theyscan
he/she/itscans
present participlescanning
past tensescanned
past participlescanned
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  1. 1
    [transitive] to look at something very carefully, because you hope or expect to see a particular person or thing
    He scanned her face but there were no signs of emotion.
    scan something for someone/something: Ella scanned the crowd for any sign of Geoff.
    anxiously/eagerly scan something: The pilot was anxiously scanning the sky for other air traffic.
    1. a.

      scan

      or

      scan through

      [intransitive/transitive] to read something very quickly, in order to get a general idea of its meaning or to find particular information
      Merrill opened the letter, scanned it briefly, and threw it away.
      Tony scanned through the television programmes in the local newspaper.
      scan something for something: She scanned the paper for any news of them.
    2. b.
      [intransitive/transitive] if a machine or computer program scans something, it examines it in order to look for a particular thing
      A program is supplied which scans for viruses and removes them.
      Every fifty metres there was a camera scanning the road.
    3. c.
      [transitive] to examine an area using sonar or radar equipment in order to find objects in it
      The spacecraft scans the Earth’s oceans with radar instruments.
  2. 2
    [intransitive/transitive] to use a piece of equipment to read and store information in digital form
    You can use photographs and then scan them onto your computer.
    His job was to scan barcodes in the store.
    scan in something (=scan something and store it in your computer): You can scan in a photograph of your home.
    scan something into something: Documents are scanned into a computer and then converted to electronic form.
    1. a.
      if a piece of equipment scans a document, photograph etc, it changes it into a form that can be stored in a computer
      A printer that can fax, scan, and copy saves space.
  3. 4
    [intransitive] literature if poetry scans, it has a regular rhythm (=pattern of beats)
    These are poems that neither rhyme nor scan.

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