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

Definition of fossick

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

Other Words from fossick

fossicker noun, chiefly Australia and New Zealand

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."

First Known Use of fossick

1852, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

History and Etymology for fossick

English dialect fossick to ferret out

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The first known use of fossick was in 1852

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Cite this Entry

“Fossick.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 May. 2022.

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