scavenge

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

Definition of scavenge

scavenged

;

scavenging

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1a (1) :  to remove (dirt, refuse, etc.) from an area (2) :  to clean away dirt or refuse from :  cleanse scavenge a streetb :  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 (something, such 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 in a Sentence

  1. Rats scavenged in the trash.

  2. The bears scavenged the woods for food.

  3. He scavenged the town dump for automobile parts.

Recent Examples of scavenge from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'scavenge'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of scavenge

back-formation from scavenger


SCAVENGE Defined for English Language Learners

scavenge

play
verb

Definition of scavenge for English Language Learners

  • of an animal : to search for food to eat

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


SCAVENGE Defined for Kids

scavenge

play
verb scav·enge \ˈska-vənj\

Definition of scavenge for Students

scavenged

;

scavenging

  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).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

a severe test

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Emoji Quiz

  • emoji-the-quiz
  • What phase of the moon is this: 🌖 ?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!