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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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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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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Example sentences
HE was now in his chamber at home, ransacking his papers, making ready for
The suspects demanded to know where the drugs were kept and began ransacking
  the residence.
Once inside the bank the individual leaped over the teller's station and began
  ransacking cash drawers.
Once inside the bank, the individual leaped over the teller's station and began
  ransacking cash drawers.
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