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[skrounj] /skraʊndʒ/
verb (used with object), scrounged, scrounging.
to borrow (a small amount or item) with no intention of repaying or returning it:
to scrounge a cigarette.
to gather together by foraging; seek out:
We'll try to scrounge enough food for supper from the neighbors.
verb (used without object), scrounged, scrounging.
to borrow, especially a small item one is not expected to return or replace.
a habitual borrower; sponger.
an act or instance of scrounging.
a person who exists by foraging.
Verb phrases
scrounge around, to search or forage for something, especially in a haphazard or disorganized fashion; hunt for:
We scrounged around for something to eat.
Also, scrounger (for defs 4, 6).
Origin of scrounge
First recorded in 1905-10; alteration of dial. scringe to glean Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for scrounge around


verb (informal)
when intr, sometimes foll by around. to search in order to acquire (something) without cost
to obtain or seek to obtain (something) by cadging or begging
Derived Forms
scrounger, noun
Word Origin
C20: variant of dialect scrunge to steal, of obscure origin
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 scrounge around



"to acquire by irregular means," 1915, alteration of dialectal scrunge "to search stealthily, rummage, pilfer" (1909), of uncertain origin, perhaps from dialectal scringe "to pry about;" or perhaps related to scrouge, scrooge "push, jostle" (1755, also Cockney slang for "a crowd"), probably suggestive of screw, squeeze. Popularized by the military in World War I. Related: Scrounged; scrounging.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for scrounge around



(also scrounger)A person who acquires by begging, borrowing, or pilfering; codger, moocher, schnorrer


  1. (also scrounge up) To acquire by such dubious ways as habitual borrowing, begging, foraging, scavenging, pilfering, etc; cadge, mooch • Popularized by military use during World War I: eating what little he could scrounge
  2. (also scrounge up) To seek and collect; scrape up: Let's see what we can scrounge up for supper

[1909+; probably fr British dialect scrunge, ''squeeze,'' hence ''steal,'' semantically parallel with pinch]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with scrounge around

scrounge around

Forage about in an effort to obtain something at no cost, as in We scrounged around their kitchen looking for a snack. It derives from the dialectal scrunge, “steal.” [ ; c. 1900 ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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