American Dictionary of the English Language

Dictionary Search


SCAN, verb transitive [Latin ascendo. See Ascend.]

1. To examine with critical care; to scrutinize.

The actions of men in high stations are all conspicuous, and liable to be scanned and sifted.

2. To examine a verse by counting the feet; or according to modern usage, to recite or measure verse by distinguishing the feet in pronunciation. Thus in Latin and Greek, a hexameter verse is resolved into six feet by scanning, and the true quantities are determined.