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rummage

Rummage means to search for something, but in a scattered, disorganized manner. You can rummage through your drawer looking for a lost sock, or you could even hold "a rummage sale" to sell off all your socks that are missing their mates.

Ahoy, mateys: the word rummage hails from a sea-faring background. The Middle Dutch ruim, Germanic rum, and Old English rum all referred to a compartment on a ship, probably stemming from the Middle French verb arrumer, "to stow goods in the hold of a ship." The idea of rummaging as searching was first recorded in the 1620s. The first rummage sale also had its ship connection, as it was a sale on the docks of unclaimed items.

Definitions of rummage
  1. verb
    search haphazardly
    “We rummaged through the drawers”
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    type of:
    search
    subject to a search
  2. noun
    a jumble of things to be given away
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    type of:
    clutter, fuddle, jumble, mare's nest, muddle, smother, welter
    a confused multitude of things
  3. noun
    a thorough search for something (often causing disorder or confusion)
    “he gave the attic a good rummage but couldn't find his skis”
    synonyms: ransacking
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    type of:
    hunt, hunting, search
    the activity of looking thoroughly in order to find something or someone
Word Family
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