verb (used with object), scrounged, scroung·ing. 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, scroung·ing. to borrow, especially a small item one is not expected to return or replace. noun 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.
scroung·er (for defs 4, 6). Origin of scrounge
First recorded in
1905–10; alteration of dial. scringe to glean
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
Related Words for scrounge around procrastinate
stroll 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 for scrounge
C20: variant of dialect
scrunge to steal, of obscure origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
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Word Origin and History for scrounge around v.
"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
Idioms and Phrases with 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.” [ Colloquial; c. 1900]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
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