1

I have tried googling and stuff but couldn't find any satisfactory suggestion that would mean "A desperate search for"

  • What about pining? – Ian MacDonald Mar 12 '15 at 19:37
  • 1
    "Grope" would be a word for, eg, trying to find a flashlight in an auto's glove compartment when it's pitch black. – Hot Licks Mar 12 '15 at 21:57
5

The closest I can proffer is-

rummage

: to search for something especially by moving and looking through the contents of a place.

: to engage in an undirected or haphazard search

(MW)

==================================================================

v. - search haphazardly

  • “We rummaged through the drawers”

n. - a search for something (often causing disorder or confusion)

  • “he gave the attic a good rummage but couldn't find his skis”

(vocabulary.com)

3

Scour
"He scoured the countryside, desperate to find his dog."

verb (used with object) - to range over, as in a search: They scoured the countryside for the lost child.

verb (used without object) - to range about, as in search of something.

ransack [ran-sak] verb (used with object) 1.to search thoroughly or vigorously through (a house, receptacle, etc.): They ransacked the house for the missing letter. 2.to search through for plunder; pillage: The enemy ransacked the entire town.

  • +1 for scour. most appropriate, though I personally find rummage quite evocative of desperation. – weakphoneme Mar 13 '15 at 18:39

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