scrounged; scrounging

transitive verb

: to get as needed by or as if by foraging, scavenging, or borrowing
scrounging enough money for a bus ticket
: finagle, wheedle
often used with up

intransitive verb

: to search about and turn up something needed from whatever source is available
also : to actively seek money, work, or sustenance from any available source
scrounger noun

Example Sentences

I managed to scrounge enough money for a bus ticket. He's always scrounging off his friends instead of paying for things himself. We scrounged around for firewood. We managed to scrounge some firewood.
Recent Examples on the Web Within a few weeks, northern Minnesota black bears preparing for hibernation will scrounge for 12,000 calories a day worth of food, a search that might lead the ravenous bruins to trash cans and bird feeders, due to a shortage of berries and nuts caused by the state's ongoing drought. Star Tribune, 8 July 2021 Mike Pence and Nikki Haley can barely scrounge 10 points between them in FiveThirtyEight’s polling average. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, 18 Apr. 2023 Only a few residents, along with uniformed personnel, dare go above ground to scrounge supplies from the few shops in Lysychansk still open, or queue for assistance packages and water deliveries trucked into neighborhoods by the police or fire departments. Los Angeles Times, 12 June 2022 The adventure of being a Raincoats fan meant scrounging to track down the music—especially in the U.S., where The Raincoats never even got released. Rob Sheffield, Rolling Stone, 15 Mar. 2023 While any gain recognized in 2023 won’t be reportable or taxable until 2024, figuring out your basis and adjustments now, including scrounging up those receipts, will save you a headache next tax season. Kelly Phillips Erb, Forbes, 20 Feb. 2023 Flamboyant personality rather than charismatic leader would be a better description of Herro who hasn’t garnered an All-Star berth by age 23 and will still be scrounging for his first All-NBA selection in his fifth season next year. Ira Winderman, Sun Sentinel, 19 Feb. 2023 Another character, Clayton Chiclitz, is a toy manufacturer who recruits war orphans to scrounge for black market bric-a-brac. John Semley, WIRED, 16 Feb. 2023 Without enough stockpiled masks, gloves or testing material, the state had to scrounge for this equipment on a global market — and, Utah auditors have noted, paid inflated prices. Bethany Rodgers, The Salt Lake Tribune, 27 Sep. 2021 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'scrounge.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


alteration of English dialect scrunge to wander about idly

First Known Use

circa 1909, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of scrounge was circa 1909

Dictionary Entries Near scrounge

Cite this Entry

“Scrounge.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition


scrounged; scrounging
: to collect by or as if by rummaging
scrounge around for firewood
: to get by coaxing or persuading
scrounge a dollar from a friend
scrounger noun

More from Merriam-Webster on scrounge

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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