Also found in: Thesaurus, Legal.


tr.v. ran·sacked, ran·sack·ing, ran·sacks
1. To search through (something) thoroughly and often roughly: ransacked the drawer looking for my keys.
2. To go through (a place) stealing valuables and causing disarray; pillage: ransacked the village.

[Middle English ransaken, from Old Norse rannsaka : rann, house + *saka, to search, seek; see sāg- in Indo-European roots.]

ran′sack′er n.


the action of ransacking a place
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.ransacking - a thorough search for something (often causing disorder or confusion); "he gave the attic a good rummage but couldn't find his skis"
search, hunting, hunt - the activity of looking thoroughly in order to find something or someone
References in classic literature ?
Legree now turned to Tom's trunk, which, previous to this, he had been ransacking, and, taking from it a pair of old pantaloons and dilapidated coat, which Tom had been wont to put on about his stable-work, he said, liberating Tom's hands from the handcuffs, and pointing to a recess in among the boxes,
I spent it in ransacking the library until I discovered a medical book which gave a description of strychnine poisoning.
HYDERABAD -- The Hyderabad District Bar Association (HDBA) annual election held on Saturday night was marred by ransacking of the courtroom where one of the four polling booths was set up.
Meanwhile, people in Sopore town have expressed resentment against ransacking of a Darul-Uloom by Indian troops during searches.
Police also failed to stop the protesters from ransacking the local government hospital.
Elsewhere in the southern West Bank, forces conducted a raid into Dhahiriya, south of Hebron, ransacking several homes and detaining a Palestinian.
The Israeli forces detained three Palestinian brothers after storming and ransacking their family home in al-Doha town, West of Bethlehem in the southern West Bank, WAFA reported.
Iranian courts have tried 45 men for the January attack on the Saudi embassy in Tehran, clearing all 45 of the main charge of storming and ransacking the embassy, but sentencing an unannounced number to three to six months in jail for disorderly conduct.
It is high time that action be taken by the international community to stop ransacking the Iraqi antiquities by the ISIL gunmen, said the Foreign Undersecretary, Maria Baumer, in the statement, noting need for the common action to stop destruction, ransacking and trafficking of the ancient treasures.
Israeli troops raided Dheisheh refugee camp, located to the south of Bethlehem, where they arrested two Palestinians aged 47 and 38 years after breaking into and ransacking their houses.
HAFIZABAD -- Office-bearers APCA Hafizabad and Gujranwala districts staged a protest demonstration against the influential locals of Pindi Bhattian for raiding the office of Registry Branch, ransacking the office furniture and tortured the Registry Clerk Naveed and others.
They caused more than PS400 of damage after breaking through the wall of the adjacent counselling offices and ransacking the shop.