When you look through your messy closet to find a shirt, this is an example of a situation where you rummage through your closet.
- miscellaneous articles; odds and ends
- a rummaging, or thorough search
Origin of rummageaphetic from Middle French arrumage from arrumer, to stow cargo in the hold from aruner, to arrange from run, rum, ship's hold from Frankish an unverified form rum, akin to Old English rum, room
transitive verb-·maged, -·mag·ing
- to search through (a place, receptacle, etc.) thoroughly, esp. by moving the contents about, turning them over, etc.; ransack
- to get, find, or turn up by or as by searching thoroughly: with up or out
verbrum·maged, rum·mag·ing, rum·mag·es
- To search thoroughly by handling, turning over, or disarranging the contents of.
- To discover by searching thoroughly.
- A thorough search among a number of things.
- A confusion of miscellaneous articles.
Origin of rummageFrom earlier romage act of packing cargo from French arrumage from Old French from arumer to stow from Old Provençal arumar a- to ( from Latin ad- ; see ad- . ) perhaps run ship's hold ( of Germanic origin ; see reuə- in Indo-European roots.)
(third-person singular simple present rummages, present participle rummaging, simple past and past participle rummaged)
- (nautical) To arrange (cargo, goods, etc.) in the hold of a ship; to move or rearrange such goods.
- (nautical) To search a vessel for smuggled goods.
- After the long voyage, the customs officers rummaged the ship.
- To search something thoroughly and with disregard for the way in which things were arranged.
- She rummaged her purse in search of the keys.
- The burglars rummaged the entire house for cash and jewellery.
- (intransitive) To hastily search for something in a confined space and among many items by carelessly turning things over or pushing things aside.
- She rummaged in the drawers trying to find the missing sock.
Old French arrumage (confer French arrimage), from arrumer (“to arrange the cargo in the hold") (confer French arrimer and Spanish arrumar).