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scavenge

[skav-inj] /ˈskæv ɪndʒ/
verb (used with object), scavenged, scavenging.
1.
to take or gather (something usable) from discarded material.
2.
to cleanse of filth, as a street.
3.
to expel burnt gases from (the cylinder of an internal-combustion engine).
4.
Metallurgy. to purify (molten metal) by introducing a substance that will combine chemically with impurities.
verb (used without object), scavenged, scavenging.
5.
to act as a scavenger.
6.
(of an engine or cylinder) to become scavenged of burnt gases.
7.
to search, especially for food.
Origin of scavenge
1635-1645
First recorded in 1635-45; back formation from scavenger
Related forms
unscavenged, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for scavenging
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • One of these scavenging birds was seen to be carrying a long object, like an eel, in its mouth.

    On the Seashore

    R. Cadwallader Smith
  • Obstruction of the contractor or local authority in scavenging the streets or in removal of refuse, 5, or less (s. 42).

  • They had, in order to be consistent and to talk big about morality, to include novels in their scheme of scavenging.

    Books and Persons Arnold Bennett
  • They do scavenging work, and eat the refuse food thrown away by people from the leaf plate after a meal.

  • It is a familiar figure in most of the towns and villages where its scavenging is of the greatest use.

  • The Haddis proper never do sweeping or scavenging work, which are, in some places, done by Rellis.

  • It was there in the howl of the scavenging camp dogs, seeking, in their prowling pack, that which the daylight denied them.

    The Triumph of John Kars

    Ridgwell Cullum
  • It should be said also that in New York an enormous amount of scavenging is paid for privately besides.

    Germany and the Germans Price Collier
British Dictionary definitions for scavenging

scavenge

/ˈskævɪndʒ/
verb
1.
to search for (anything usable) among discarded material
2.
(transitive) to purify (a molten metal) by bubbling a suitable gas through it. The gas may be inert or may react with the impurities
3.
to clean up filth from (streets, etc)
4.
(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
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Word Origin and History for scavenging

scavenge

v.

1640s, back-formation from scavenger. Related: Scavenged; scavenging.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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17
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