1. To make room in, as a ship, for the cargo; to move about, as packages, ballast, so as to permit close stowage; to stow closely; to pack; formerly written roomage, and romage. They night bring away a great deal more than they do, if they would take pain in the romaging. (Hakluyt)
2. To search or examine thoroughly by looking into every corner, and turning over or removing goods or other things; to examine, as a book, carefully, turning over leaf after leaf. He . . . Searcheth his pockets, and taketh his keys, and so rummageth all his closets and trunks. (Howell) What schoolboy of us has not rummaged his greek dictionary in vain for a satisfactory account! (M. Arnold)
Origin: Rummaged; Rummaging.
2. A searching carefully by looking into every corner, and by turning things over. He has such a general rummage and reform in the office of matrimony. (Walpole) Rummage sale, a clearance sale of unclaimed goods in a public store, or of odds and ends which have accumulated in a shop.
Origin: For roomage, fr. Room; hence originally, a making room, a packing away closely. See Room.