- 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.
scavenger definition by Webster's New World
- 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: Middle 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
scavenger definition by American Heritage Dictionary
- One that scavenges, as a person who searches through refuse for food.
- An animal, such as a bird or insect, that feeds on dead or decaying matter.
- Chemistry A substance added to a mixture to remove or inactivate impurities.
Origin: Alteration 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.
scavenger - Science Definition