- to take or gather (something usable) from discarded material.
- to cleanse of filth, as a street.
- to expel burnt gases from (the cylinder of an internal-combustion engine).
- Metallurgy. to purify (molten metal) by introducing a substance that will combine chemically with impurities.
- to act as a scavenger.
- (of an engine or cylinder) to become scavenged of burnt gases.
- to search, especially for food.
Origin of scavenge
First recorded in 1635–45; back formation from scavenger
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for scavenge
And towns on the edge of their range have and will experience more interaction as the bears arrive to scavenge.How Climate Change Is Causing Chaos in the Animal Kingdom
January 23, 2014
People have to scavenge or make everything, either by themselves or as part of a cooperative community.Where are the Bicycles in Post-Apocalyptic Fiction?
January 28, 2013
Inspired us to scavenge for even more erotic bedtime reading.50 Ways ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ Has Changed the World
December 20, 2012
He will scavenge any book in any language for another puzzle piece.Umberto Eco’s 'The Prague Cemetery' Brings to Life Ancient Hate
November 12, 2011
Neglect of local authority to scavenge after undertaking to do so, 5s.Cooley's Practical Receipts, Volume II
There was a fair chance this early that he could scavenge something edible.Badge of Infamy
Lester del Rey
The symbiote might produce sugars, scavenge the blood of toxins—there are so many things it could do.Planet of the Damned
It was not implied that it was part of the duty of the Bembridge green committee to scavenge the seashore.Fifty Years of Golf
Horace G. Hutchinson
- to search for (anything usable) among discarded material
- (tr) to purify (a molten metal) by bubbling a suitable gas through it. The gas may be inert or may react with the impurities
- to clean up filth from (streets, etc)
- chem to act as a scavenger for (atoms, molecules, ions, radicals, etc)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Word Origin and History for scavenge
1640s, back-formation from scavenger. Related: Scavenged; scavenging.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper