v. scav·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.
2. 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.
1. To search through refuse for useful items.
2. To feed on dead or decaying matter.
[Back-formation from SCAVENGER.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.