rummage

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rum·mage / ˈrəmij/ • v. [intr.] search unsystematically and untidily through a mass or receptacle: he rummaged in his pocket for a handkerchief | [tr.] he rummaged the drawer for his false teeth. ∎  [tr.] find (something) by searching in this way: Mick rummaged up his skateboard. ∎  [tr.] (of a customs officer) make a thorough search of (a vessel): our brief was to rummage as many of the vessels as possible.• n. an unsystematic and untidy search through a mass or receptacle. ∎  a thorough search of a vessel by a customs officer.DERIVATIVES: rum·mag·er n.ORIGIN: late 15th cent.: from Old French arrumage, from arrumer ‘stow (in a hold),’ from Middle Dutch ruim ‘room.’ In early use the word referred to the arranging of items such as casks in the hold of a ship, giving rise (early 17th cent.) to the verb sense ‘make a search of (a vessel).’

rummage

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rummage †stowage, orig. in a ship's hold; (dial.) commotion XVI; (from the vb.) overhauling search XVIII. — AN. *rumage (cf. AL. rumāgium), aphetic of OF. arrumage (mod. arrimage), f. †arrumer, var. of OF. arimer, aruner, ariner, f. a- AD- + run ship's hold — (M)Du. ruim; see -AGE. R. sale is first recorded (XIX) for the sale of unclaimed goods at docks or odds and ends left in a warehouse.
Hence vb. †stow in the hold, †set (a ship) in order; search (orig. the hold), also intr. XVI.

Rummage

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Rummage

miscellaneous articles; lumber; rubbish, 1598.

Example : good riddance to bad rummage, 1880.