English Dictionary

Pioneers in dictionary publishing since 1819

Definitions of scanning

scanning (ˈskænɪŋ) 



  1. the act of examining with a scanner   ⇒  ■ routine scanning of luggage,   ⇒  ■ ultrasound scanning of the uterus

scan (skæn



Word forms:   scans,  scanning or ,  scanned
  1. (transitive) to scrutinize minutely
  2. (transitive) to glance over quickly
  3. (transitive) (prosody) to read or analyse (verse) according to the rules of metre and versification
  4. (intransitive) (prosody) to conform to the rules of metre and versification
  5. (transitive) (electronics) to move a beam of light, electrons, etc, in a predetermined pattern over (a surface or region) to obtain information, esp either to sense and transmit or to reproduce a television image
  6. (transitive) to examine data stored on (magnetic tape, etc), usually in order to retrieve information
  7. to examine or search (a prescribed region) by systematically varying the direction of a radar or sonar beam
  8. (physics) to examine or produce or be examined or produced by a continuous charge of some variable   ⇒  ■ to scan a spectrum
  9. (medicine) to obtain an image of (a part of the body) by means of a scanner



  1. the act or an instance of scanning
  2. (medicine)
    1. the examination of a part of the body by means of a scanner   ⇒  ■ a brain scan,   ⇒  ■ ultrasound scan
    2. the image produced by a scanner

Derived Forms

ˈscannable  adjective

Word Origin

C14: from Late Latin scandere to scan (verse), from Latin: to climb


View thesaurus entry
= glance over, skim, look over, eye, check, clock (British) (slang), examine, check out (informal), run over, eyeball (slang), size up (informal), get a load of (informal), look someone up and down, run your eye over, take a dekko at (British) (slang), surf (computing)
= survey, search, investigate, sweep, con (archaic), scour, scrutinize, take stock of, recce (slang)
= look, glance, skim, browse, flick, squint, butcher's (British) (slang), brief look, dekko (British) (slang), shufti (British) (slang)
= examination, scanning, ultrasound

Example Sentences Including 'scanning'

He straightened, his eyes scanning the ground around the body.
Forsythe, Malcolm The Book Lady
His eyes were scanning her face, cutting like a laser through all it encountered.
Hilton, John Buxton Passion in the Peak
Ninety seconds later, she was on the roof, crouching beneath a wooden water tower, scanning her surroundings.
Mark Burnell CHAMELEON (2002)


Log in to comment on this word.