rummage through

rummage through (something) (for something)

To dig or root around aimlessly in or through some cluttered place or collection of things in order to find something. I caught my brother rummaging through my purse again. A raccoon was rummaging through the dumpster for something to eat. We spent the whole afternoon rummaging through old photographs of Granny Mary, picking the best ones for her memorial service.
See also: rummage, through

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, through
References in periodicals archive ?
Lisa Burles, manager of the British Heart Foundation store, said: "People rummage through the bins and just throw the rubbish on the street and we've had complaints about it.
Then yesterday she was pictured leaving a BBC radio studio in London with a cigarette in her mouth after a long rummage through her bag to find one.
to search especially by moving and looking through the contents of a place or container His dog likes to rummage through the trash.
No longer will you have to rummage through bags and pockets, as the keychain will stylishly hold all keys in a central place.
I would rummage through those well-read pages, often picking out stories of our worldwide communion.
Tenants who never complained about any housing problem were coerced into allowing inspectors to rummage through their units looking for any violation,'' Greenberg said.