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 the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.