Scav"en*ger (?), n. [OE. scavager an officer with various duties, originally attending to scavage, fr. OE. & E. scavage. See Scavage, Show, v.]
A person whose employment is to clean the streets of a city, by scraping or sweeping, and carrying off the fifth. The name is also applied to any animal which devours refuse, carrion, or anything injurious to health.
Scavenger beetle Zool., any beetle which feeds on decaying substances, as the carrion beetle. -- Scavanger crab Zool., any crab which feeds on dead animals, as the spider crab. -- Scavenger's daughter [corrupt. of Skevington's daughter], an instrument of torture invented by Sir W. Skevington, which so compressed the body as to force the blood to flow from nostrils. and sometimes from the hands and feet.
© Webster 1913.