rummage

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rummage around (somewhere) (for something)

to move things about haphazardly while looking for something somewhere. Alice rummaged around in the drawer for a candy bar she had been saving. After she rummaged around for the candy bar, she found it. She rummaged around in the old trunk.
See also: around, rummage

rummage through something

to move things about haphazardly while searching through something. I rummaged through my top drawer, looking for any two socks that matched. Mary spent some time rummaging through the toolbox before she found what she was looking for.
See also: rummage
References in classic literature ?
Among these he rummaged and read, with intervals of note-taking and of meditation, until we were past Reading.
He rummaged in the drawer for a sheet of paper, found one, and began to write.
My shooting gallery is rummaged, high and low, by Bucket; such property as I have--'tis small--is turned this way and that till it don't know itself; and (as aforesaid) here I am
He could see nothing that would serve his purpose; he rummaged about his painting things; somehow he could not find a thing; he was frantic.
She rummaged in a bureau, and presently she produced a photograph of a woman, shamefully defaced and mutilated with a knife.
I rummaged the things up into much the same state that they must have been before the world was created, and when chaos reigned.
Likhachev got up, rummaged in his pack, and soon Petya heard the warlike sound of steel on whetstone.
There was another light in the room now, a thousand times brighter than the night-lights, and in the time we have taken to say this, it had been in all the drawers in the nursery, looking for Peter's shadow, rummaged the wardrobe and turned every pocket inside out.
Here he rummaged about in the dark until he had found the two phials he sought.
This spectacle restoring her to a sense of the proprieties, she stood for some few moments silent, with her mouth wide open; and then, posting off to the bed on which the Baby lay asleep, danced in a weird, Saint Vitus manner on the floor, and at the same time rummaged with her face and head among the bedclothes, apparently deriving much relief from those extraordinary operations.
In itself, this was nothing, for, at midnight, Captain Kellar was back on the beach, himself climbing the high hill to the Commissioner's bungalow while the boat's crew vainly rummaged the landscape and canoe houses.
A well-conducted boy would have let things alone, or a moral brother would have put things to rights; being neither, Tom rummaged to his hearts content, till Fan's drawers looked as if some one had been making hay in them.
I have rummaged among the books here over and over again, and I know more about them than you do.
In the intervals we could hear the soldiers talking and swearing as they rummaged among the carcasses, urged on by their officers to hurry up.
He rummaged for the thousandth time in the cupboard.