rummage

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rummage around

To dig or root around aimlessly (in or through some cluttered location). Usually used in the continuous tense. I think I can hear Tom rummaging around up in the attic again. A raccoon had gotten into the dumpster and was rummaging around for something to eat. He walked into the office and caught two men rummaging around.
See also: around, rummage

rummage around for (something)

To dig or root around aimlessly (in or through some cluttered location) in order to find something. A noun or pronoun can be used between "around" and "for" to specify where one is looking. Usually used in the continuous tense. I think Tom's rummaging around for something up in the attic. A raccoon had gotten into the dumpster and was rummaging around for something to eat. I caught my brother rummaging around my purse for money again.
See also: around, for, rummage

rummage around in (something)

To dig or root around aimlessly in or through some cluttered location. Usually used in the continuous tense. I caught my brother rummaging around in my desk again. A raccoon was rummaging around in the dumpster for something to eat.
See also: around, rummage

rummage around in (something) for (something)

To dig or root around aimlessly in or through some cluttered location in order to find something. I caught my brother rummaging around in my purse for money again. A raccoon was rummaging around in the dumpster for something to eat.
See also: around, for, rummage

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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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References in periodicals archive ?
To decrease rummaging in other residents' belongings;
Salvage man Willie Fulgear found the missing Oscars late on Sunday while rummaging through the bin.
While rummaging through old photos and papers McDowell learned that her father had gone from earning 75 cents an hour to $4 an hour when he died in 1974 at age 51.
Instead, Beasley, a 37-year-old computer sales executive who lives in Raleigh, N.C., is rummaging through his own magic bag for some Southern (gay) pride to shove in his infamous cousin's face.
Gary Hart's new book sent me rummaging through an old trunk for evidence: Just over the left pocket of my shrunken lice jacket is a faded ribbon.
Rummaging through rubbish bins, crystallographers are taking a fresh look at crystal structure -- dusting off old photographs, retrieving discarded data, remeasuring key paramters.
Rummaging has six Dundalk wins to his name, but the latest of those was in March 2014 and his recent visits to his once-favourite hunting ground have been tales of woe.
Security sources said that Israeli forces arrested Ammar Ghaleb Sawafteh, 22, Adham Aref Daraghmeh, 21, after raiding their family houses and rummaging with the contents.
and what could be more fun than rummaging on the foreshore for your lunch!
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.
What on earth were they 'rummaging' for, and why would they be rummaging for it?
The ITV effort, You Don't know You're Born, also has celebs tracking down their roots, but doesn't bother with tedious footage of our heroes rummaging through dusty libraries.
So I kind of got thrown by this and started rummaging in my bag looking for my cigarettes, and then I realized we were in New York and I couldn't smoke indoors, so I was just fake rummaging.
Just recently, at a Malibu supermarket, the busty blonde spent ages rummaging through her handbag for some bargain coupons to get money off her latest shop.