1an act of scanning someone or something:a quick scan of the sports page
2a medical examination using a scanner:a brain scan
an image obtained by scanning or with a scanner:you can’t predict anything until he has seen the scan
1look at all parts of (something) carefully in order to detect some feature:he raised his binoculars to scan the coast
look quickly but not very thoroughly through (a document or other text) in order to identify relevant information:we scan the papers for news from the trouble spots [no object]:I scanned through the reference materials
2cause (a surface, object, or part of the body) to be traversed by a detector or an electromagnetic beam:their brains are scanned so that researchers can monitor the progress of the disease
[with object and adverbial] cause (a beam) to traverse across a surface or object:we scanned the beam over a sector of 120°
convert (a document or picture) into digital form for storage or processing on a computer:text and pictures can be scanned into the computer
resolve (a picture) into its elements of light and shade in a prearranged pattern for the purposes of television transmission.
3analyse the metre of (a line of verse) by reading with the emphasis on its rhythm or by examining the pattern of feet or syllables.
[no object] (of verse) conform to metrical principles:well, it doesn’t rhyme and certainly doesn’t scan