An example of a scavenger is a vulture.
An example of a scavenger is someone who takes usable items from dumpsters.
Origin of scavenger
- 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
From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
- 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 scÄ“awung (“reconnoitering, surveying, inspection, examination, scrutiny"), equivalent to showing.