verb (used with object), rum·maged, rum·mag·ing.
verb (used without object), rum·maged, rum·mag·ing.
Origin of rummage
British Dictionary definitions for rummage out (1 of 2)
British Dictionary definitions for rummage out (2 of 2)
Word Origin for rummage
Word Origin and History for rummage out
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.