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rummage

[ruhm-ij] /ˈrʌm ɪdʒ/
verb (used with object), rummaged, rummaging.
1.
to search thoroughly or actively through (a place, receptacle, etc.), especially by moving around, turning over, or looking through contents.
2.
to find, bring, or fetch by searching (often followed by out or up).
verb (used without object), rummaged, rummaging.
3.
to search actively, as in a place or receptacle or within oneself:
She rummaged in her mind for the forgotten name.
noun
4.
miscellaneous articles; odds and ends.
5.
a rummaging search.
Origin
1520-1530
1520-30; aphetic alteration of Middle French arrumage, equivalent to arrum(er) to stow goods in the hold of a ship (< ?) + -age -age
Related forms
rummager, noun
unrummaged, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for rummaging
  • Every evening is spent in cleaning guns, rummaging for unprepossessing treasures of shooting and fishing equipment.
  • The farmer soon heard their stifled whispers and light steps by his bedside, and understood they were rummaging his clothes.
  • Most of us have probably spent time in stores rummaging around for that second item worth buying for a bargain price.
  • rummaging around looking for hats that come down over the ears.
  • It takes some rummaging to retrieve items from the bottom with the drawstring.
  • There were muffled laughs and a general rummaging in purses for rubles.
  • Then she began rummaging around in the refrigerator.
  • Pack lightly to avoid losing time as rummaging through bags.
  • The weather turns abruptly cool, and you find yourself rummaging through your closet in search of a favorite sweater.
  • rummaging around in the kitchen cabinet for forks and knives.
British Dictionary definitions for rummaging

rummage

/ˈrʌmɪdʒ/
verb
1.
when intr, often foll by through. to search (through) while looking for something, often causing disorder or confusion
noun
2.
an act of rummaging
3.
a jumble of articles
4.
(obsolete) confusion or bustle
Derived Forms
rummager, noun
Word Origin
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 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for rummaging
rummage
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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