General English

General Science

  • noun a device which converts an image, drawing, photograph or document into graphical data which can be manipulated by a computer


  • That which scans. Examples include optical scanners, magnetic character readers, computerized tomography scanners, plan position indicators, and radio scanners. Also, one that scans.
  • An optical device which scans a sheet, film, area, scene, or the like, and converts it into data, an electrical image, or another form which enables the original visual information to be stored, processed, transmitted, or reproduced. Also called optical scanner (1).
  • A device which utilizes a small and intensely bright spot which scans an object, scene, screen, film, or the like, and transforms the original image into a series of electrical signals by focusing it onto a photoelectric cell. The scanning may be mechanical or electrical. Used, for instance, for TV transmission, telecine transfer, or character recognition. Also called optical scanner (2), light-spot scanner, or flying spot scanner.
  • A device which utilizes optical sensors to detect and interpret characters, marks, bar codes, and the like. Examples include optical character readers, optical mark readers, and bar code readers. Also called optical reader, or optical scanner (3).
  • A computer peripheral which converts the visual information of a paper, film, or the like, and into an image which is stored as a bitmap. Such an image can then be displayed or printed. When used with optical character recognition software, such images can also be processed, allowing, for instance, the characters of printed documents to be converted into electronic text. Also called optical scanner (4).
  • A radio receiver that searches frequencies or bands for signals. Such a receiver may proceed from station to station until manually stopped. When multiple bands may be scanned, also called scanning radio.
  • The part of a scanning device which performs the actual scanning (1).
  • synonymscanning device

Information & Library Science

  • noun a machine that converts documents, drawings or photographs into machine-readable form

Media Studies

  • noun a receiver that continuously broadcasts radio signals it picks up from specific frequencies
  • noun any mobile control room at an outside broadcast


  • noun a person who examines a test slide
  • noun a person who operates a scanning machine