- skavenger (obsolete)
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 Old Dutch scauwōn (“to inspect, to examinate, to look at”) (Compare schouwing (“inspection”)). More at show.
scavenger (plural scavengers)
- Someone who scavenges, especially one who searches through rubbish for food or useful things.
- An animal that feeds on decaying matter such as carrion.
- (Britain, obsolete) A street sweeper.
- (Britain, historical) A child employed to pick up loose cotton from the floor in a cotton mill.
- (chemistry) A substance used to remove impurities from the air or from a solution.