scavenge for

scavenge (around) for (something)

1. Literally, to search for something by rooting around in rubbish or refuse. There is a large population of impoverished people who spend their days scavenging around for food and useful items in the town dump. I came across a family of raccoons scavenging for food in the dumpster behind our office.
2. By extension, to search all over some are or throughout some cluttered space for a particular thing, especially in a desperate, last-minute manner. I hate having to scavenge for a pen every other day. It's high time I clean up and organize this office! We've been scavenging around for a motor that will work with the prototype, but none of these are compatible.
See also: for, scavenge
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

scavenge (around) for someone or something

to search everywhere for someone or something. We had to scavenge for a person who would agree to run for president in my place. Sam scavenged around for a socket wrench.
See also: for, scavenge
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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References in periodicals archive ?
The children scavenge for construction materials due to the ongoing blockade of Gaza, which means that no new materials are allowed in, the report said.
The GLA said 40 Bulgarian workers had to scavenge for food in the fields where they worked because Cornwall-based Baltic Work Team Ltd had not paid them.