verb fos·sick \ˈfä-sik\

Definition of fossick

  1. intransitive verb
  2. 1 Australian & New Zealand :  to search for gold or gemstones typically by picking over abandoned workings

  3. 2 chiefly Australian & New Zealand :  to search about :  rummage

  4. transitive verb
  5. chiefly Australian & New Zealand :  to search for by or as if by rummaging :  ferret out


noun chiefly Australian & New Zealand

Did You Know?

The first people to "fossick" (in the oldest but still-current meaning of the word), back in the 1850s, were picking over abandoned mining excavations in search of gold or gemstones. But within a few decades "fossick" was being used more generally to mean "to search about" or "to rummage." "Fossick" was brought to the shores of Australia and New Zealand by immigrants from the United Kingdom. The word was originally an English dialect term meaning "to ferret out." That meaning is derived from older words: the first spelled fussick, meaning "to bustle about," and the second "fossack" or fussock, meaning "a troublesome person."

Origin and Etymology of fossick

English dialect fossick to ferret out

First Known Use: 1852

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up fossick? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to search out and expose misconduct

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