Definition of scavenge
1a (1) : to remove (as dirt or refuse) from an area (2) : to clean away dirt or refuse from : cleanse scavenge a streetb : to feed on (carrion or refuse)
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
3 : to salvage from discarded or refuse material; also : to salvage usable material from
: to work or act as a scavenger
Examples of scavenge in a sentence
Rats scavenged in the trash.
The bears scavenged the woods for food.
He scavenged the town dump for automobile parts.
Origin and Etymology of scavenge
back-formation from scavenger
First Known Use: circa 1644
SCAVENGE Defined for English Language Learners
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
Definition of scavenge for Students
: to search through and collect usable items especially from what has been thrown away
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).