9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[skav-inj] /ˈskæv ɪndʒ/
verb (used with object), scavenged, scavenging.
to take or gather (something usable) from discarded material.
to cleanse of filth, as a street.
to expel burnt gases from (the cylinder of an internal-combustion engine).
Metallurgy. to purify (molten metal) by introducing a substance that will combine chemically with impurities.
verb (used without object), scavenged, scavenging.
to act as a scavenger.
(of an engine or cylinder) to become scavenged of burnt gases.
to search, especially for food.
Origin of scavenge
1635-45; back formation from scavenger
Related forms
unscavenged, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for scavenge
  • They must avoid cannibals and scavenge food from abandoned houses and stores.
  • Unusual island crows wandered about, as ready to munch on fruit as rob a nest or scavenge leftovers.
  • The coal mines are exhausted, steel is forged by machine and old folk scavenge for bottles to reclaim the deposits.
  • Churches stopped ladling soup, and more homeless people were forced to scavenge in skips.
  • They scavenge the skins from a nearby market, one explained, then sell them plucked for a few cents.
  • scavenge at curbs or nab discarded items on campuses populated by rich students.
  • The weather-beaten characters, their nerves frayed and their feet swollen, scavenge desperately for sustenance.
  • We venture out briefly from our safe houses to scavenge for food and weapons, but the horde is growing.
  • The newcomers, known as prawns and numbering millions, are fenced into a township and forced to scavenge.
  • These spiral generators scavenge power when the beetle beats its wings.
British Dictionary definitions for scavenge


to search for (anything usable) among discarded material
(transitive) to purify (a molten metal) by bubbling a suitable gas through it. The gas may be inert or may react with the impurities
to clean up filth from (streets, etc)
(chem) to act as a scavenger for (atoms, molecules, ions, radicals, etc)
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for scavenge

1640s, back-formation from scavenger. Related: Scavenged; scavenging.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for scavenge

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for scavenge

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for scavenge