nose about

nose about (for someone or something)

 and nose around (for someone or something)
to search here and there to find someone or something. We spent an hour nosing about for a newspaper. I will nose around for someone to help you. We nosed about for a while, but found no one.
See also: nose

nose about

Also, nose around. Look for something, especially something private or hidden. For example, She was always nosing about the kitchen, looking in all the cupboards, or The detective nosed around the apartment. [Second half of 1800s]
See also: nose