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scan / skan/ • v. (scanned , scan·ning ) [tr.] 1. look 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. ∎  cause (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. ∎  resolve (a picture) into its elements of light and shade in a prearranged pattern for the purposes of television transmission. ∎  convert (a document or picture) into digital form for storage or processing on a computer: text and pictures can be scanned into the computer. 2. analyze the meter of (a line of verse) by reading with the emphasis on its rhythm or by examining the pattern of feet or syllables. ∎  [intr.] (of verse) conform to metrical principles. • n. an act of scanning someone or something: a quick scan of the sports page. ∎  a medical examination using a scanner: a brain scan. ∎  an image obtained by scanning or with a scanner. DERIVATIVES: scan·na·ble adj.

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scanAberfan, Adrianne, an, Anne, artisan, astrakhan, ban, began, Belmopan, bipartisan, bran, can, Cannes, Cézanne, Cheyenne, clan, courtesan, cran, dan, Dayan, Diane, divan, élan, Elan, fan, flan, foreran, Fran, Friedan, Gell-Mann, gran, Han, Hunan, Ivan, Jan, Japan, Jinan, Joanne, Kazan, Klan, Kordofan, Lacan, Lausanne, Leanne, Limousin, Louvain, man, Mann, Marianne, Milan, Moran, nan, Oran, outran, outspan, Pan, panne, parmesan, partisan, pavane, pecan, Pétain, plan, Pusan, ran, rataplan, rattan, Rosanne, Sagan, Saipan, saran, scan, scran, sedan, span, spick-and-span, Spokane, Suzanne, Tainan, tan, than, tisane, trepan, van, vin, Wuhan, Xian, Yerevan, Yunnan, Zhongshan •koan • kanban • Seremban •Cardin, Teilhard de Chardin •Rodin • Ramadan • dauphin •turbofan • Afghan • Gauguin •Callaghan

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scan The term used to describe a variety of imaging techniquesultrasound, CT (computed tomography), MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), isotope, or PET (positron emission tomography) scans. ‘Going for a scan’ in pregnancy would mean an ultrasound scan of the unborn baby or of the mother's pelvis. Sometimes the term may be linked to the organ or part of the body being examined (e.g. brain scan, liver scan, bone scan) without defining the particular imaging technique, other times it may be qualified and more specific (e.g. CT brain scan, isotope bone scan). All types of scanners provide moving or consecutive pictures, focussed on an organ or region of the body, from which a two- or three-dimensional image can be built up and saved by computing techniques.

J. K. Davidson


See imaging techniques; radiology; X-rays.
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scan (skan)
1. n. examination of the body or a part of the body using ultrasonography, computerized tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), or scintigraphy.

2. n. the image obtained from such an examination.

3. vb. to examine the body using any of these techniques.

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scan analyse the metre of XIV; †criticize, test; examine or consider closely; †interpret; †discern XVI; look at searchingly XVIII. — L. scandere (pp. scansus) climb, (late) ‘measure’ (verses), with allusion to raising and lowering the foot to mark rhythm; cf. next. The var. †scand was presumably the earlier, though not so shown by the evidence, and was apprehended as pp., from which an inf. scan was deduced.
So scansion XVII.

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scan A single pass through the data of one or more components in an image.