Definition of ransack in English:

ransack

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • 1 Go through (a place) stealing things and causing damage:

    ‘burglars ransacked her home’
    • ‘He allegedly then ransacked the house, stole a gun from a safe, and fled in the homeowner's vehicle.’
    • ‘The defence claimed her aunt was viciously beaten by a burglar who ransacked the house.’
    • ‘When police failed to catch the burglar who ransacked her dying mum's home, Georgina Artingstall decided she would solve the case herself.’
    • ‘The three friends were then locked in a bathroom while the gang ransacked the flat, stealing mobile phones and other items.’
    • ‘The thieves ransacked the living room but only stole a small amount of jewellery.’
    • ‘The owner of a mail order lingerie business which was ransacked by burglars has spoken of her disgust at the intruders.’
    • ‘The gunmen realized that in order to look for the money, they would have to ransack the whole place and kill to get everyone of the way.’
    • ‘Burglars ransacked the house, taking £1,000 of jewellery, silver and china and the family heirlooms.’
    • ‘Immediately asking for money, he forces them into their mansion and ransacks the place.’
    • ‘The thieving wine connoisseurs then ransacked the house, stealing laptops, wallets and jewellery.’
    • ‘Then he bound her hands and ransacked the house, stealing what is believed to be a few hundred pounds.’
    • ‘York war veteran Joe Munday today spoke of his anger towards thieves who ransacked his house and stole his prized medals.’
    • ‘They smashed the windowpanes of the cinema, damaged the furniture and ransacked the canteen.’
    • ‘It's unusual for someone to strike like this during the day and to ransack the place in such a disturbing way.’
    • ‘However, it didn't seem like they were ransacking the place.’
    • ‘They saw a bunch of thieves ransacking the place.’
    • ‘Thieves had ransacked class seven, stealing exercise books belonging to Year Five children age 10.’
    • ‘The place was ransacked and the papers boxed up and stolen.’
    • ‘Four months later, on the night of her 83rd birthday, burglars ransacked her bedroom as she slept heavily after taking a sleeping tablet.’
    • ‘‘When he went back into his home, he found that two rooms had been ransacked and the cash stolen,’ he said.’
    plunder, pillage, steal from, raid, rob, loot, rifle, sack, strip, denude
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Search (a place or receptacle) thoroughly, especially in such a way as to cause harm:
      ‘man has ransacked the planet for fuel’
      • ‘He is forced to sign a ‘Permission for Search’ which allows Ford detectives to ransack his home.’
      • ‘The rogues ransack the place in search of a treasure map, carting the women, including feisty Violet Miranda, onto a ship run by the dastardly but suave Captain Calico Jack.’
      • ‘I then ransacked the studio for a cardboard box that I could turn into a cigarette box and happily, my prayers were answered in the shape of an empty box of A4 paper.’
      • ‘They ransacked the house searching for a gun for almost 12 hours but it was not found.’
      • ‘They were ordered not to move or speak for an hour while the riot squad searched and often ransacked their rooms.’
      • ‘Now, he's slashing capital expenditures and ransacking his portfolio for bits and pieces to sell, all to bring down debt.’
      • ‘Sadly, pathetically, while he was hospitalised his neat single storey home was broken into and ransacked in an obvious search for money.’
      • ‘He begins to ransack the apartment, searching through drawers and cabinets.’
      • ‘Reuters filmed houses with their doors smashed in and ransacked by US troops as they searched for weapons.’
      • ‘The police spent an hour combing the residence, probing the floor and compound and ransacking the wardrobes.’
      • ‘If you need flowers or a bouquet the next time, you don't need to ransack your cupboard to search for the misplaced telephone index or that huge telephone directory to search for a bouquet shop phone number.’
      • ‘Police would come and search private houses of the members and ransack the whole lot.’
      • ‘The judge isn't going to ransack the prosecutor's file drawers and hand over to the defense copies of all the evidence the judge thinks is exculpatory.’
      • ‘The soldiers dismount and secure the area and with little warning, kick in the door, roust the residents out of the house, and search and ransack the home.’
      rummage through, hunt through, rake through, scour, rifle, look all round, go through, comb, scrabble around in, poke around in, rummage around in, hunt around in, explore, turn inside out, turn over
      View synonyms

Origin

Middle English: from Old Norse rannsaka, from rann house + a second element related to sœkja seek.

Pronunciation

ransack

/ˈransak/