Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

scavenge

play
verb scav·enge \ˈska-vənj, -vinj\

Simple Definition of scavenge

  • of an animal : to search for food to eat

  • : to search through waste, junk, etc., for something that can be saved or used

Full Definition of scavenge

scav·engedscav·eng·ing

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1a (1) :  to remove (as dirt or refuse) from an area (2) :  to clean away dirt or refuse from :  cleanse <scavenge a street>b :  to feed on (carrion or refuse)

  3. 2a :  to remove (burned gases) from the cylinder of an internal combustion engine after a working strokeb :  to remove (as an undesirable constituent) from a substance or region by chemical or physical meansc :  to clean and purify (molten metal) by taking up foreign elements in chemical union

  4. 3 :  to salvage from discarded or refuse material; also :  to salvage usable material from

  5. intransitive verb
  6. :  to work or act as a scavenger

Examples of scavenge

  1. Rats scavenged in the trash.

  2. The bears scavenged the woods for food.

  3. He scavenged the town dump for automobile parts.



Origin of scavenge

back-formation from scavenger


First Known Use: circa 1644


SCAVENGE Defined for Kids

scavenge

play
verb scav·enge \ˈska-vənj\

Definition of scavenge

scav·engedscav·eng·ing

  1. :  to search through and collect usable items especially from what has been thrown away




Learn More about scavenge


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up scavenge? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

February 13, 2016

a trying or distressing experience

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image33683556

How much does a batman (the Turkish unit of measurement) weigh?

100 pounds 196.5 pounds 2.2 pounds 16.96 pounds
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ