verb (used with object)
to search thoroughly or vigorously through (a house, receptacle, etc.): They ransacked the house for the missing letter.
to search through for plunder; pillage: The enemy ransacked the entire town.

1200–50; Middle English ransaken < Old Norse rannsaka to search, examine (for evidence of crime), equivalent to rann house + saka search (variant of soekja to seek)

ransacker, noun
unransacked, adjective
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World English Dictionary
ransack (ˈrænsæk)
1.  to search through every part of (a house, box, etc); examine thoroughly
2.  to plunder; pillage
[C13: from Old Norse rann house + saka to search, seek]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

mid-13c., from O.N. rannsaka "to pillage," lit. "search the house" (especially legally, for stolen goods), from rann "house," from P.Gmc. *rasnan (c.f. Goth. razn, O.E. ærn "house") + saka "to search," related to O.N. soekja "seek" (see seek). Sense influenced by sack (v.).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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