Etymology
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scavenge (v.)

1640s, transitive, "cleanse from filth," a back-formation from scavenger (q.v.). The intransitive meaning "search through rubbish" for usable food or objects is suggested by 1880s; the transitive sense of "extract and collect anything usable from discarded material" is by 1922. Related: Scavenged; scavenging.

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Definitions of scavenge

scavenge (v.)
clean refuse from;
scavenge (v.)
collect discarded material;
She scavenged the garbage cans for food
Synonyms: salvage
scavenge (v.)
feed on carrion or refuse;
hyenas scavenge
scavenge (v.)
remove unwanted substances from;
Synonyms: clean
From wordnet.princeton.edu