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From Middle English scavager, from Anglo-Norman scawageour (one who had to do with scavage, inspector, tax collector), from Old Northern French *scawage, escauwage (scavage), Old French *scavage, escavage, 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.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈskæv.ən.dʒə(ɹ)/


scavenger (plural scavengers)

  1. (obsolete) A street sweeper.
  2. Someone who scavenges, especially one who searches through rubbish for food or useful things.
  3. An animal that feeds on decaying matter such as carrion.
  4. (chemistry) A substance used to remove impurities from the air or from a solution.

Derived terms[edit]