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scavenge

[skav-inj] /ˈskæv ɪndʒ/
verb (used with object), scavenged, scavenging.
1.
to take or gather (something usable) from discarded material.
2.
to cleanse of filth, as a street.
3.
to expel burnt gases from (the cylinder of an internal-combustion engine).
4.
Metallurgy. to purify (molten metal) by introducing a substance that will combine chemically with impurities.
verb (used without object), scavenged, scavenging.
5.
to act as a scavenger.
6.
(of an engine or cylinder) to become scavenged of burnt gases.
7.
to search, especially for food.
Origin
1635-1645
1635-45; back formation from scavenger
Related forms
unscavenged, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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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

scavenge

/ˈskævɪndʒ/
verb
1.
to search for (anything usable) among discarded material
2.
(transitive) to purify (a molten metal) by bubbling a suitable gas through it. The gas may be inert or may react with the impurities
3.
to clean up filth from (streets, etc)
4.
(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
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Word Origin and History for scavenge
v.

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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