- to search thoroughly or actively through (a place, receptacle, etc.), especially by moving around, turning over, or looking through contents.
- to find, bring, or fetch by searching (often followed by out or up).
- to search actively, as in a place or receptacle or within oneself: She rummaged in her mind for the forgotten name.
- miscellaneous articles; odds and ends.
- a rummaging search.
Origin of rummage
Related Wordscomb, forage, poke, scour, jumble, spy, disturb, rake, disarray, grub, toss, seek, hunt, disorganize, explore, root, examine, shake, disorder, delve
Examples from the Web for rummage
Another leaned forward at that point to rummage in her bag for a mint.George Zimmerman Trial: The Prosecution’s Dramatic Closing Arguments
July 11, 2013
Malamo Voulgaropoulou, a former singer now in her 80s, is one of many pensioners who rummage through dumpsters for food.Greece on the Brink of Financial Abyss as Syriza Party Weighs Default
May 12, 2012
Previously, Anderson had enraged Hoover by assigning a reporter to rummage through his trash at home.Hoover’s Secret Files
August 2, 2011
I want to rummage over my thoughts and see whether some of them are to be abandoned or not.'A Woman Intervenes
After the action we went to rummage a sort of camp, which they had left behind them.The Jest Book
So I had to rummage through the refrigerator and use my own judgment.The Wall Between
Sara Ware Bassett
She had to rummage her memory awhile to discover just what it was.The Faith Doctor
Did I ever walk into your house to pry and rummage, and tell you that your things were no use?A Little Country Girl
- (when intr , often foll by through) to search (through) while looking for something, often causing disorder or confusion
- an act of rummaging
- a jumble of articles
- obsolete confusion or bustle
Word Origin and History for rummage
1540s, "arrange (cargo) in a ship," from rummage (n.), 1520s, "act of arranging cargo in a ship," a shortening of Middle French arrumage "arrangement of cargo," from arrumer "to stow goods in the hold of a ship," from a- "to" + rumer, probably from Germanic (cf. Old Norse rum "compartment in a ship," Old High German rum "space," Old English rum; see room (n.)). Or else from English room (n.) + -age.
Meaning "to search closely (the hold of a ship), especially by moving things about" first recorded 1610s. Related: Rummaged; rummaging. Rummage sale (1803) originally was a sale at docks of unclaimed goods.