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plunder, restore, arrange, tidy


SAT 16 (Scholastic Assessment Test), High School 1, Crime and Lawlessness



How to pronounce ransack (audio)


Dictionary definition of ransack

To search through something thoroughly and often destructively, usually in an attempt to find something valuable or specific.
"The invading army would ransack villages, looting everything in their path."

Detailed meaning of ransack

The term can be used both in a literal sense, such as searching through a room or a house, as well as in a figurative sense, such as combing through documents or records. The act of ransacking often involves turning over furniture or breaking open containers, leaving a trail of destruction in its wake. The purpose of ransacking can vary from criminal activity such as burglary or theft, to legitimate searches such as a police investigation or a thorough cleaning. Overall, ransacking implies a reckless, disorganized and often violent search for something.

Example sentences containing ransack

1. The burglars ransack the house, searching for valuables.
2. Thieves broke into the store and began to ransack the shelves.
3. They decided to ransack the attic in search of hidden treasures.
4. The tornado would ransack the town, leaving destruction in its wake.
5. The rebels would ransack government offices, looking for classified information.
6. Vandals entered the museum and started to ransack the exhibits.

History and etymology of ransack

The verb 'ransack' has its etymology rooted in Old Norse and Old English. It is believed to have originated from the Old Norse word 'rannsaka,' which combines 'rann,' meaning 'house,' and 'saka,' meaning 'to search' or 'to seek.' In Old English, it evolved into 'rænsacian,' carrying the same meaning of searching a house thoroughly. Over time, 'ransack' entered the English language in the 13th century and came to describe the act of searching through something thoroughly and often destructively, usually in an attempt to find something valuable or specific. Its etymology underscores the idea of searching a place, particularly a dwelling, intensively, as implied by its Old Norse and Old English roots in 'rannsaka' and 'rænsacian,' highlighting the thorough and sometimes disruptive nature of the search.

Quiz: Find the meaning of ransack

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Further usage examples of ransack

1. During the riot, the mob would ransack shops and set fires.
2. The pirates would ransack ships, taking all the valuable cargo.
3. The desperate parents would ransack the house, looking for their missing child.
4. The invaders ransack the temple, defiling sacred relics.
5. The bandits would ransack caravans, stealing goods and terrorizing travelers.
6. The soldiers would ransack enemy camps, seizing supplies and causing chaos.
7. Thieves ransack the office, leaving it in disarray.
8. The vandals would ransack public parks, damaging property and littering.
9. The rebels would ransack the armory, arming themselves for the fight.
10. During the chaos, looters would ransack abandoned buildings.
11. The enemy forces would ransack the village, pillaging homes and farms.
12. The rioters would ransack stores, carrying away stolen merchandise.
13. The desperate survivors would ransack abandoned vehicles for supplies.
14. The burglars ransack my home, leaving chaos in their wake.
15. Desperate for clues, detectives ransack the suspect's hideout.
16. In a frenzy, treasure hunters ransack the ancient tomb.
17. Thieves ransack the museum, stealing priceless artifacts.
18. Vandals ransack the abandoned factory, causing mayhem.
19. During the raid, rebels ransack the enemy's armory.
20. Journalists ransack documents for evidence of corruption.
21. Scavengers ransack the post-apocalyptic city for supplies.
22. Archaeologists ransack the shipwreck for historical relics.
23. The storm's fury causes waves to ransack the coastline.
24. In their quest for answers, researchers ransack old archives.

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