1915, alteration of dialectal scrunge ("to search stealthily, rummage, pilfer") (1909), of uncertain origin, perhaps from dialectal scringe ("to pry about"); or perhaps related to scrouge, scrooge ("push, jostle") (1755, also Cockney slang for "a crowd"), probably suggestive of screw, squeeze. Popularized by the military in World War I.
- To hunt about, especially for something of nominal value; to scavenge or glean.
- To obtain something of moderate or inconsequential value from another.
- As long as he's got someone who'll let him scrounge off them, he'll never settle down and get a full-time job.
scrounge (plural scrounges)
- Someone who scrounges; a scrounger.