Also scroung·er (for defs 4, 6).

Origin of scrounge

First recorded in 1905–10; alteration of dial. scringe to glean
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019


British Dictionary definitions for scrounge around

scrounge

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 Formsscrounger, noun

Word Origin for scrounge

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

Word Origin and History for scrounge around

scrounge

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

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 Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.