Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[ran-sak] /ˈræn sæk/
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.
Origin of ransack
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)
Related forms
ransacker, noun
unransacked, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for ransack
Historical Examples
British Dictionary definitions for ransack


verb (transitive)
to search through every part of (a house, box, etc); examine thoroughly
to plunder; pillage
Derived Forms
ransacker, noun
Word Origin
C13: from Old Norse rann house + saka to search, seek
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for ransack

mid-13c., from a Scandinavian source akin to Old Norse rannsaka "to pillage," literally "search the house" (especially legally, for stolen goods), from rann "house," from Proto-Germanic *rasnan (c.f. Gothic razn, Old English ærn "house;" see barn) + saka "to search," related to Old Norse soekja "seek" (see seek). Sense influenced by sack (v.). Related: Ransacked; ransacking.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for ransack

Word Value for ransack

Scrabble Words With Friends