Definition of scavenger noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



BrE BrE//ˈskævɪndʒə(r)//
; NAmE NAmE//ˈskævɪndʒər//
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an animal, a bird or a person that scavenges Word Originmid 16th cent.: alteration of earlier scavager, from Anglo-Norman French scawager, from Old Northern French escauwer ‘inspect’, from Flemish scauwen ‘to show’. The term originally denoted an officer who collected scavage, a toll on foreign merchants' goods offered for sale in a town, later a person who kept the streets clean.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: scavenger

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