- The definition of a scavenger is a person, animal or insect who takes what others have left or thrown away.
- An example of a scavenger is a vulture.
- An example of a scavenger is someone who takes usable items from dumpsters.
The vulture is a scavenger.
- 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
- An animal, such as a vulture or housefly, that feeds on dead or decaying matter.
- One that scavenges, as a person who searches through refuse for useful items.
- Chemistry A substance added to a mixture to remove or inactivate impurities.
Origin of scavengerAlteration of Middle English scauager, schavager, official charged with street maintenance, from Anglo-Norman scawager, toll collector, from scawage, a tax on the goods of foreign merchants, from Flemish scauwen, to look at, show.
From Middle English scavager, from Old French scawageour (“one who had to do with scavage, inspector, tax collector”), from Old French *scawage, *scavage, escavage, escauwage (“scavage”), alteration of escauvinghe (compare also Medieval Latin scewinga, sceawinga), from Middle English schewing (“inspection, examination”), from Old English scēawung (“reconnoitering, surveying, inspection, examination, scrutiny”), equivalent to showing.