verb (used with object), rummaged, rummaging.
to search thoroughly or actively through (a place, receptacle, etc.), especially by moving around, turning over, or looking through contents.
to find, bring, or fetch by searching (often followed by out or up ).
verb (used without object), rummaged, rummaging.
to search actively, as in a place or receptacle or within oneself: She rummaged in her mind for the forgotten name.
miscellaneous articles; odds and ends.
a rummaging search.

1520–30; aphetic alteration of Middle French arrumage, equivalent to arrum(er) to stow goods in the hold of a ship (< ?) + -age -age

rummager, noun
unrummaged, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
rummage (ˈrʌmɪdʒ)
vb (when intr, often foll by through)
1.  to search (through) while looking for something, often causing disorder or confusion
2.  an act of rummaging
3.  a jumble of articles
4.  obsolete confusion or bustle
[C14 (in the sense: to pack a cargo): from Old French arrumage, from arrumer to stow in a ship's hold, probably of Germanic origin]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

1526, "act of arranging cargo in a ship," aphetic of M.Fr. arrumage "arrangement of cargo," from arrumer "to stow goods in the hold of a ship," from a- "to" + rumer, probably from Gmc. (cf. O.N. rum "compartment in a ship," O.H.G. rum "space," O.E. rum, see room). Meaning "to
search (the hold of a ship) thoroughly" first recorded 1628. Rummage sale (1858) originally was a sale at docks of unclaimed goods.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Reality is a natural place to rummage for ideas for a television producer who
  is out of writers to provide them.
Wild boars rummage through the underbrush here, rooting for fungi and small
  plants to eat.
Thousands of dealers, acres of stuff to rummage through in.
Ask him to explore an idea and he'll rummage happily.
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