scrounging around

scrounge

[skrounj]
verb (used with object), scrounged, scrounging.
1.
to borrow (a small amount or item) with no intention of repaying or returning it: to scrounge a cigarette.
2.
to gather together by foraging; seek out: We'll try to scrounge enough food for supper from the neighbors.
verb (used without object), scrounged, scrounging.
3.
to borrow, especially a small item one is not expected to return or replace.
noun
4.
a habitual borrower; sponger.
5.
an act or instance of scrounging.
6.
a person who exists by foraging. Also, scrounger (for defs 4, 6).
Verb phrases
7.
scrounge around, to search or forage for something, especially in a haphazard or disorganized fashion; hunt for: We scrounged around for something to eat.

Origin:
1905–10; alteration of dial. scringe to glean

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
scrounge (skraʊndʒ)
 
vb (when intr, sometimes foll by around)
1.  to search in order to acquire (something) without cost
2.  to obtain or seek to obtain (something) by cadging or begging
 
[C20: variant of dialect scrunge to steal, of obscure origin]
 
'scrounger
 
n

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

scrounge
"to acquire by irregular means," 1915, alteration of dialectal scrunge "to search stealthily, rummage, pilfer" (1909), of uncertain origin, perhaps from dial. scringe "to pry about." Popularized by the military in World War I. Perhaps related to scrouge, scrooge "push, jostle" (1755, Cockney slang for
"a crowd"), probably suggestive of screw, squeeze.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Synonyms
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