- to clean up (streets, alleys, etc.); remove rubbish, dirt, or garbage from
- to salvage (usable goods) by rummaging through refuse or discards
- to remove burned gases from (the cylinder of an internal-combustion engine)
- Metallurgy to clean (molten metal) by using a substance that will combine chemically with the impurities present
Origin of scavengeback-formation ; from scavenger
- to act as a scavenger
- to look for food
verbscav·enged, scav·eng·ing, scav·eng·es
- a. To collect (useful items) by searching through refuse: scavenged a chair from the neighbor's trash.b. To search through (a place or container) for useful items.
- To feed on (dead or decaying matter). Used especially of animals.
- a. To expel (exhaust gases) from a cylinder of an internal-combustion engine.b. To expel exhaust gases from (such a cylinder).
- a. To clean (molten metal) by chemically removing impurities.b. To remove or inactivate (harmful chemicals or impurities) in a mixture: antioxidants that scavenge free radicals from the body.
- To search through refuse for useful items.
- To feed on dead or decaying matter.
Origin of scavengeBack-formation from scavenger.
(third-person singular simple present scavenges, present participle scavenging, simple past and past participle scavenged)
- to collect and remove refuse, or to search through refuse for useful material
- to remove unwanted material from something, especially to purify molten metal by removing impurities
- to expel the exhaust gases from the cylinder of an internal combustion engine, and draw in air for the next cycle
- (intransitive) to feed on carrion or refuse
Back-formation from scavenger.