Word of the Day: scan

 
 
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Word Reference
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Word of the Day
 
November 4, 2015
 
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scan (verb, noun) sound LISTEN icon
 
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To scan something is to take a look at it. Ironically, it can mean both "to look quickly at something" and "to look at something closely and carefully." It can also refer to using a scanner to read a code or copy an image. As a noun, scan is the act of scanning, the medical examination of a body part using a scanner, or the image obtained by a scanner.
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Example sentences
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John scanned his notes to find the answer to the teacher's question.
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The police will scan the area looking for footprints.
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The bouncer scanned the barcodes on our tickets and let us in.
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A quick scan through the books will give you the answer.
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Alice has been getting a lot of headaches lately, so the doctor is sending her for a brain scan.
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The doctor needs to see the scan before making a diagnosis.
 
Additional information
 
Scan has specific uses in poetry. It is a verb that means "to analyze poetry in order to understand its meter," and it also means "to conform to or agree with the rules of meter." For example: "The students were asked to scan the second verse of the poem." Or, "That verse doesn't scan; you'll have to rewrite it."
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Other forms

scannable (adjective), scanner (noun)
 
 
Origin
 
Scan dates from the second half of the fourteen century. It comes from the Late Latin word "scandere" (to scan verse) and the Middle English word "scannen" or "scanden."
 
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