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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 ?
Coyote tracks indicated the scavenger species at three carcasses where cameras failed, but we could not identify the time of day these carcasses were scavenged. Seven carcasses were scavenged, but neither cameras nor tracks indicated the scavenger species.
Over 2/3 of the compounds that inhibited lipid peroxidation scavenged DPPH radical.
It was found that 50 M of anthrarobin was needed to scavenge 50% radicals while 12.5 M of BHA scavenged 50% radicals in DMSO.
The individual represented by that bone was either prey or scavenged after death, the scientists propose.--B.S.
The water extract from the herb markedly scavenged the superoxide anion and DPPH radicals and moderately the hydroxyl radical.
The roof's delicate glass scales are actually car side windows, scavenged by one of the students from a lot in his native Chicago.
It's impossible to determine whether the Brazilian spinosaur preyed on alive pterosaur or merely scavenged a carcass, Buffetaut notes.
Dire wolves, an ice age predator larger than today's gray wolf, appear to have been scavenged less often than the saber-toothed cats.
The species in the model differed in the effectiveness with which they scavenged various resources, so that they could excel at the exploitation of some nutrients while competing poorly for others.
Contrary to what Marean and Kim found in the Iranian cave, her evidence indicates that Neandertals scavenged extensively, Stiner says.
They may be thriving from the scavenged carcasses, or the smaller coyotes may simply have been killed.
Instead, these critics argue, hominids ate mainly scavenged leftovers, either directly from a carcass or at special processing sites, and camped elsewhere so as not to attract hungry lions and other large carnivores.
The cave probably served as a den for Stone Age hyenas, which scavenged the remains of deer, bears and other animals, possibly including an occasional deceased Neandertal dragged from a shallow burial, reports Mary C.
While all plants scavenged the pollutants to some extent, their efficacy varied widely.
Since the availability of scavenged meat varies greatly throughout the year for the Hadza, the researchers conclude in the April CURRENT ANTHROPOLOGY, "scavenged animal tissue was more likely a windfall resource [for human ancestors] -- briefly, sometimes seasonally abundant but generally unavailable on a day-to-day basis."