Etymology
Advertisement

scan (v.)

late 14c., "mark off verse in metric feet," from Late Latin scandere "to scan verse," originally, in classical Latin, "to climb, rise, mount" (the connecting notion is of the rising and falling rhythm of poetry), from PIE *skand- "to spring, leap, climb" (source also of Sanskrit skandati "hastens, leaps, jumps;" Greek skandalon "stumbling block;" Middle Irish sescaind "he sprang, jumped," sceinm "a bound, jump").

Missing -d in English is probably from confusion with suffix -ed (see lawn (n.1)). Sense of "look at closely, examine minutely (as one does when counting metrical feet in poetry)" first recorded 1540s. The (opposite) sense of "look over quickly, skim" is first attested 1926. Related: Scanned; scanning.

scan (n.)

1706, "close investigation," from scan (v.). Meaning "act of scanning" is from 1937; sense of "image obtained by scanning" is from 1953.

Others are reading

Advertisement
Advertisement
Definitions of scan
1
scan (v.)
examine minutely or intensely;
the surgeon scanned the X-ray
scan (v.)
examine hastily;
She scanned the newspaper headlines while waiting for the taxi
Synonyms: skim / rake / glance over / run down
scan (v.)
make a wide, sweeping search of;
The beams scanned the night sky
scan (v.)
conform to a metrical pattern;
scan (v.)
move a light beam over; in electronics, to reproduce an image;
scan (v.)
read metrically;
scan verses
scan (v.)
obtain data from magnetic tapes or other digital sources;
Synonyms: read
2
scan (n.)
the act of scanning; systematic examination of a prescribed region;
he made a thorough scan of the beach with his binoculars
scan (n.)
an image produced by scanning;
he analyzed the brain scan
you could see the tumor in the CAT scan
Synonyms: CAT scan
From wordnet.princeton.edu