[ skav-inj ]
See synonyms for scavenge on
verb (used with object),scav·enged, scav·eng·ing.
  1. to take or gather (something usable) from discarded material.

  2. to cleanse of filth, as a street.

  1. to expel burnt gases from (the cylinder of an internal-combustion engine).

  2. Metallurgy. to purify (molten metal) by introducing a substance that will combine chemically with impurities.

verb (used without object),scav·enged, scav·eng·ing.
  1. to act as a scavenger.

  2. (of an engine or cylinder) to become scavenged of burnt gases.

  1. to search, especially for food.

Origin of scavenge

First recorded in 1635–45; back formation from scavenger

Other words from scavenge

  • un·scav·enged, adjective

Words Nearby scavenge Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use scavenge in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for scavenge


/ (ˈskævɪndʒ) /

  1. to search for (anything usable) among discarded material

  2. (tr) to purify (a molten metal) by bubbling a suitable gas through it. The gas may be inert or may react with the impurities

  1. to clean up filth from (streets, etc)

  2. 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