- a person who gathers things that have been discarded by others, as a junkman
- any animal that eats refuse and decaying organic matter
- anything that removes impurities, refuse, etc.
- Chiefly Brit. a person employed to clean the streets, collect refuse, etc.
Origin of scavengerMiddle English scavager from Anglo-French scawage, inspection from Norman French escauwer, to inspect from Flemish scawen or Frankish scouwon, to peer at, observe, akin to Old English sceawian, show