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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, through
References in classic literature ?
When I got to the library I came to a standstill,--ah, the dear room, what happy times I have spent in it rummaging amongst the books, making plans for my garden, building castles in the air, writing, dreaming, doing nothing
the searching, rummaging, and examining into a nasty place; indeed, in the former instances, into the nastiest of all places, A BAD MIND.
And then he traversed the room like a hound on the scent, skimming the walls, considering the corners of the bulging matting on his hands and knees, rummaging mantel and tables, the curtains and hangngs, the drunken cabinet in the corner, for a visible sign, unable to perceive that she was there beside, around, against, within, above him, clinging to him, wooing him, calling him so poignantly through the finer senses that even his grosser ones became cognisant of the call.
One evening, however, he rushed in to look for an old chisel, or some corks, or other article essential to his pursuit for the time being, and while rummaging about in the cupboards, looked up for a moment, and was caught at once by the figure of poor little Arthur.
Yes," he said," some one seems to have been rummaging about.
And the Major, on going away, having left his gloves behind him, it is a fact that Georgy, rummaging his mother's desk some time afterwards, found the gloves neatly folded up and put away in what they call the secret-drawers of the desk.
However, this set me on rummaging for clothes, of which I found enough, but took no more than I wanted for present use, for I had others things which my eye was more upon - as, first, tools to work with on shore.
Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) on Friday morning stormed Beit Ummar village north of Hebron, and damaged materilas and belongings at Riad Sabarneh's home after rummaging it.
35 Dundalk At The Races Prize Rush On Facebook Handicap 7f ATR Card page 55 THERE may be only six runners but they have 15 wins at Dundalk between them and Rummaging is responsible for six of those, although his most recent success was more than a year ago when he narrowly landed a 6f contest under Conor Hoban.
We asked what would they do if the food bank was not available to them and they said they would consider criminally taking food or even rummaging through bins to find food, which I think shows the desperate levels some people are having to resort to.
I caught a man rummaging through them and when I asked him to stop, he hurled abuse at me.
The guest saw a man rummaging through the desk drawers.
So, no more rummaging for keys plus a stylish, attractive life saving trendy vest.
It all started so promisingly, in full slap and evening dress, but tonight a disgruntled Lexi and Debbie are rummaging around in the disgusting contents of a glass-recycling lorry, searching for their missing loot.
Between the darkness of the van, the road-weariness of the skaters, and the fact that the critter had gotten stuck in a T-shirt while rummaging through their stuff, the team didn't notice it was an animal.