fossick

verb

fos·​sick ˈfä-sik How to pronounce fossick (audio)
fossicked; fossicking; fossicks

intransitive verb

1
Australia and New Zealand : to search for gold or gemstones typically by picking over abandoned workings
2
chiefly Australia and New Zealand : to search about : rummage

transitive verb

chiefly Australia and New Zealand : to search for by or as if by rummaging : ferret out
fossicker noun chiefly Australia and New Zealand

Did you know?

Search for the Origin of Fossick

The first people to fossick (in the oldest and still-current meaning of the word), back in the 1850s, were picking over abandoned mining excavations in Australia and New Zealand 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, as we know it, is a native of Down Under, but it may have its origins in a word known to immigrants from the United Kingdom: the dialect term fussock, meaning "to bustle about" or "to fidget."

Word History

Etymology

English dialect fossick to ferret out

First Known Use

1852, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of fossick was in 1852

Podcast

Dictionary Entries Near fossick

Cite this Entry

“Fossick.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fossick. Accessed 23 Apr. 2024.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!