- 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
Examples from the Web for ransack
And my sister, who was always good-natured, carried me off to ransack her wardrobe.
There isn't an other one like her if you were to ransack the islands all round the compass.The Rescue
You have had the impertience to ransack it in my absence this afternoon.Danger! and Other Stories
Arthur Conan Doyle
Glavour will ransack the Earth rather than be cheated of one he has marked for his prey.Giants on the Earth
Sterner St. Paul Meek
Then the desperadoes went back and began to ransack the stores.The Boy Scouts on the Yukon
- to search through every part of (a house, box, etc); examine thoroughly
- to plunder; pillage
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.