I am trying to write a short story in English to practice my English. I remember there's a word for "searching for leftovers in a destroyed minimart in a zombie infested world" which in my memory sounds like "scouring for food" or "scourging for food" or something, but looking at google's definition of both words, those don't look like what I'm looking for.
The word you are looking for is scavenging
- To collect by searching through refuse
- To search through (a place or container) for useful items.
It sounds like you're looking for scrounging
To forage about in an effort to acquire something at no cost
So you could write
scrounging for leftovers in a destroyed minimart in a zombie infested world
An even less common word is gleaning which means to "collect leftover crops from farmers' fields after they have been commercially harvested." In this instance, your protagonist is gleaning the leftovers after the minimart had already been looted at least once.
There are a number of words that you might use, regardless of which one you ran across previously. Each will have different implications.
At the top of our list should probably be "scavenge", which indicates trying to find something of value in a location where what might mostly be found is mostly leftovers. Whichever other words we find, "scavenge" is a good start, one that fits the definition requested. So, using "scavenge" as a starting point, let's take a look at synonyms.
Here are some possibilities:
- salvage, but this has little or no implication of violence or possible danger
- scour, implies a thorough examination or working over of a location or place
- glean, coming from agricultural and/or rural gathering roots, 'going over a location to find remaining resources after there has already been a harvest'
- fossick, this is Australian slang, possibly from Cornish (England) mining dialectic usage, similar to glean, but from a mining perspective
- scrounge, generally used when other people are the source, or in control of the resource, as in cadging or wheedling
- forage, closer to 'harvesting', but of a wild or undomesticated resource
There are some words that are more closely defined by theft (which requires an active and current owner) or violent and forceful acquisition (could be theft, or wartime activity)
You will find a number of other possibilities at the thesaurus previously linked.