verb (used with object), scav·enged, scav·eng·ing.
- to take or gather (something usable) from discarded material.
- to cleanse of filth, as a street.
- to expel burnt gases from (the cylinder of an internal-combustion engine).
- Metallurgy. to purify (molten metal) by introducing a substance that will combine chemically with impurities.
verb (used without object), scav·enged, scav·eng·ing.
- to act as a scavenger.
- (of an engine or cylinder) to become scavenged of burnt gases.
- to search, especially for food.
- to search for (anything usable) among discarded material
- (tr) to purify (a molten metal) by bubbling a suitable gas through it. The gas may be inert or may react with the impurities
- to clean up filth from (streets, etc)
- chem to act as a scavenger for (atoms, molecules, ions, radicals, etc)
v.1640s, back-formation from scavenger. Related: Scavenged; scavenging.