Definition of scanner in US English:



  • 1A device for examining, reading, or monitoring something.

    • ‘What was intended as an investigation into how well the carvings would be recorded by a laser scanner, turned into a major discovery.’
    • ‘This code, often ignored by anti-virus scanners, then monitors that user's activities, and periodically sends that information back to the writer.’
    • ‘Last year a powerful scanner which can detect plastic explosives and illicit drugs was installed and tested at London's Gatwick Airport as part of a pilot programme.’
    • ‘Police are developing a mobile scanner that can detect weapons being carried on the streets as part of the fight against the rising tide of gun crime.’
    • ‘Merlin checked the readings of a hand scanner that was strapped to his left arm and grunted.’
    • ‘His partner hadn't lost any of his piloting skills in the two years they'd been away, and having the kid fly left him free to monitor the scanner, looking for the right place to put down.’
    • ‘Any addresses in York where licence evasion is suspected will be visited and officers have hand-held scanners specifically designed to detect televisions in use in blocks of flats and halls.’
    • ‘These tags transmit and receive radio signals to and from nearby scanners.’
    • ‘The chips are so small they are put under the skin using a surgical needle and read by scanners which pick up the radio waves they emit and translate the information they contain.’
    • ‘But the SmartTech scanner detected switches and batteries - some of the earmarks of a suspicious device.’
    • ‘The scanner can display hidden guns, knives, batteries, digital watches, explosive materials and packages of drugs secreted under clothing.’
    • ‘They use scanners to monitor Garda radio frequencies, are believed to carry out surveillance on Garda stations and communicate with each other via mobile phones and walkie-talkies.’
    • ‘However, users have to pay €10 a month for services such as spam filters, virus scanners and online storage.’
    • ‘Cordelia breezed into the office about an hour later, smiling brightly at Wesley who was still occupying the desk, monitoring the police scanner.’
    • ‘Finally, a retired highway patrolman monitoring a police scanner slowed the suspect by using his car to block the suspect on a small residential road.’
    • ‘After this examination is complete, the astronauts will use the laser scanner and infrared camera to inspect thermal tiles near the crew cabin by placing it atop the robotic arm.’
    • ‘Eavesdropping criminals who use scanners to monitor North Yorkshire police will be foiled by the force's new digital radio system.’
    • ‘Many legitimate computer-security tools - vulnerability scanners, for example - fall into this category.’
    • ‘The gang uses scanners to monitor Garda radio frequencies.’
    • ‘He dodged the cops by monitoring police scanners to spy on the very people who were tracking him.’
    detector, recorder
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Medicine A machine that examines the body through the use of radiation, ultrasound, or magnetic resonance imaging, as a diagnostic aid.
      ‘a body scanner’
      • ‘The Five Stars Scanner Appeal was launched in 2003 to buy a Magnetic Resonance imaging scanner for the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital at Pendlebury.’
      • ‘Unprecedented numbers of new scanners and radiotherapy machines are being installed.’
      • ‘The animals were imaged in a magnetic resonance scanner during the infusion and 1, 2, 4, and 7 days after infusion.’
      • ‘It is superseding most diagnostic endoscopic cholangiopancreatography as faster magnetic resonance imaging scanners become more widely available.’
      • ‘Hospitals are well equipped: France has the highest number of transplant units, scanners and radiation machines per head of population in the world.’
    2. 1.2 A device that scans documents and converts them into digital data.
      • ‘Most scanners are basically a digital camera designed to capture flat art.’
      • ‘First, you will need a scanner or digital camera to transfer your photos into your computer.’
      • ‘The scanner allows you to convert the film to digital files and take advantage of the use of software editing, enhancing and publishing.’
      • ‘Document management technologies include digital imaging, which uses scanners to digitally replicate documents.’
      • ‘The rule also affects imports of other devices including mobile phones personal digital assistants, scanners and network cards.’