rum·​mage | \ ˈrə-mij How to pronounce rummage (audio) \
rummaged; rummaging

Definition of rummage

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to make a thorough search or investigation
2 : to engage in an undirected or haphazard search

transitive verb

1 : to make a thorough search through : ransack rummaged the attic
2 : to examine minutely and completely
3 : to discover by searching



Definition of rummage (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : a confused miscellaneous collection
b : items for sale at a rummage sale
2 : a thorough search especially among a confusion of objects

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Other Words from rummage


rummager noun

Examples of rummage in a Sentence

Verb He rummaged through the attic for his baseball card collection. He rummaged in his pocket for the receipt. I heard you rummaging around in the refrigerator. Noun a rummage of textbooks, notebooks, and old school papers all over the desk
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Someone rummaged through the rest; nothing was taken, according to Northlake police. Deborah Kadin,, "’Lock your doors’: Northlake police warn about car break-ins," 16 Sep. 2019 No longer confined to a cubicle, Jones works out of his home studio that is close enough to the Everglades that there is a black bear who rummages through his trash. Roger Downing,, "Florida artist carving new life into old surf boards," 15 Aug. 2019 The man then follows the victim, who rummages inside of the car again before holding up two empty hands. Laura Mcknight,, "Video shows attempted robbery, shooting in the Irish Channel," 27 Feb. 2018 One person can be seen on the footage rummaging through one of the cars. La Cañada Valley Sun, "Crime Report: 2 Highland Drive homes ransacked the same day," 4 Sep. 2019 An unlocked vehicle in a driveway on the 700 block of West Hinsdale Avenue was rummaged through between 5 p.m. July 2 and 6 a.m. July 3. Kimberly Fornek,, "Hinsdale police blotter: Fraudulent purchase of nearly $11,000 made with resident’s credit card," 11 July 2019 On the home's second floor, all three bedrooms had been rummaged. Jeff Piorkowski/special To,, "Women arrested for attacking bartender: Cleveland Heights police blotter," 30 Mar. 2018 The victim locked himself in the bathroom while the gunman rummaged through the apartment. Wayne K. Roustan,, "Driver arrested but gunman sought in robbery, shooting, cops say," 31 Aug. 2019 While one officer searched for drugs in the truck, Palya rummaged through her purse for a lighter and the other officer noticed a syringe plunger in the purse, the statement reads. Mary Grace Keller,, "Westminster woman charged with intent to distribute after police allegedly find narcotics in her purse, rectum," 23 Aug. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The sign was still sitting in the garage but was off to the side, away from the rummage merchandise that was for sale. Joe Taschler, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Magnet fishing is a slimy new hobby where people pull guns, bikes and weird stuff out of Milwaukee-area rivers, lakes and lagoons," 25 June 2019 Already the schedule suggests a slightly frantic rummage deep in her closet. Joan Acocella, The New Yorker, "Can Modern Dance Be Preserved?," 24 June 2019 VALLEY CENTER Garden club holds rummage, plant sale The Garden Treasures Rummage & Summer Blowout Plant Sale will be from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday at the Martin Gang Ranch, 28933 Cole Grade Road. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Fallbrook Democratic Club receives Club of the Year Award," 20 June 2019 Good Shepherd's Evangelical Lutheran Church, 1235 S. 100th St., West Allis, is hosting a neighborhood rummage from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 9. Hannah Kirby, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Get a job with the Wisconsin State Fair, get a deal at a rumage and party like a librarian," 28 May 2018 Former president and current member Marie Weber said socializing gave way to fundraising, especially through rummage and bake sales, Christmas house tours and by creating and selling local phone directories. Jim Stingl, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Stingl: With membership dwindling, once-thriving Hales Corners Woman's Club is disbanding," 24 Apr. 2018 Important note: Last week's announcement failed to give a date for the Western Reserve Masonic Community's annual rummage and estate sale. 'sam' Boyer/special To,, "Young speakers impress the audience: Whit & Whimsey," 20 Apr. 2018 Today’s stores, all close to the Brooklyn apartment that Cumming, Faber and Kivlen once shared, are rummage-friendly. Alice Hines, New York Times, "How a Rising Rock Band Shops for Vintage," 29 Mar. 2018 Also lots of household rummage, books, crafting items and collectibles/treasures. 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Nov. 4., "Holiday sales and bazaars pop up for the 2017 season around Northeast Ohio," 26 Oct. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'rummage.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of rummage


1582, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1


1598, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for rummage

Noun and Verb

obsolete English romage act of stowing cargo, modification of Middle French arrimage, from arrimer to stow, from a- (from Latin ad-) + -rimer, from Middle English rimen to open up, make room for, from Old English rȳman — more at ream

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Dictionary Entries near rummage





rummage sale



Statistics for rummage

Last Updated

29 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for rummage

The first known use of rummage was in 1582

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More Definitions for rummage


How to pronounce rummage (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of rummage

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to search for something especially by moving and looking through the contents of a place



English Language Learners Definition of rummage (Entry 2 of 2)

chiefly British : the act of looking for something among a group of things


rum·​mage | \ ˈrə-mij How to pronounce rummage (audio) \
rummaged; rummaging

Kids Definition of rummage

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to search especially by moving and looking through the contents of a place or container … Henry and his father rummaged through the basement until they found a gallon jar …— Beverly Cleary, Henry Huggins



Kids Definition of rummage (Entry 2 of 2)

: a mixed up collection of different articles

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More from Merriam-Webster on rummage

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for rummage

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with rummage

Spanish Central: Translation of rummage

Nglish: Translation of rummage for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of rummage for Arabic Speakers

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