It is not a verb. Here is the original sentence:

Frauen verbringen im Durchschnitt 76 Tage ihres Lebens mit dem Wühlen in der Handtasche.

-Women spend in average 76 days of their life with --- in the handbag.

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    I'm voting to close this question because it shows no research effort. – Jan Apr 7 '15 at 12:59
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    I'm inclined to rephrase my earlier comment to read: I'm voting to close this question because it can be easily answered by a grammar book and a dictionary (albeit in combination). Does that help? – Jan Apr 7 '15 at 13:19
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    So you're saying that looking up the verb leaves you absolutely clueless about the meaning of the sentence even when you use some common sense ? – Emanuel Apr 7 '15 at 13:31
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    Guys, why are you so rude? If you know and want to help me, then thank you, but if you don't want to help me or anybody else, then don't write anything. I wish u the best in the future. – Lora85 Apr 7 '15 at 13:33
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    I'm actually trying to help you. I have confidence in you that you can figure out the meaning by yourself. I might be wrong but I think the main why you are asking is because either you don't have enough self confidence in your own smartness when it comes to language. So instead of just answering, I wanted to point you in the right direction so as for you to see that you're totally up to it because I am sure that you CAN make sense of it by knowing what the verb means. And that insight that you're smart enough... – Emanuel Apr 7 '15 at 15:07

It is very common in German to convert verbs to nouns. There are several ways of doing so one of them is using the inifinitve form, capitalize the verb, and give it a neuter grammatical gender:

wühlen - das Wühlen

Thererefore whenever you find a noun not listed in a dictionary you may still find the verb it was derived from.

More on this:

  • Thank you :) One last thing, how to know when to convert the infinitive verbs to noun? If you don't mind telling me, of course. – Lora85 Apr 7 '15 at 14:20
  • Most verbs can be converted that way (just like in English -ing), some take other forms in addition (der Wühler, die Wühlerin, das Gewühle, der Wühlende, ...). It's rather random ;) – Takkat Apr 7 '15 at 14:28
  • Well thank you very much for your time. I get it know. I just need to read more about it. :) – Lora85 Apr 7 '15 at 14:41

Women spend in average 76 days of their life with sifting through the contents of their handbag.

Women spend in average 76 days of their life with digging in their handbag.

  • Thank you for your answer. What i don't understand is why there is an article "Dem" in front of this "verb". – Lora85 Apr 7 '15 at 13:02
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    It is a nominalized verb describing the process of digging. You can easily recognize that by the word being capitalized. Nominalizations are always neuter in German, and the dative singular neuter article is dem (the same as dative singular masculine). – Œlrim Apr 7 '15 at 13:11
  • Thank you. I am going to read about nominalized verbs in German because i didn't know they existed. I appreciate the time you have given me to answer my question. – Lora85 Apr 7 '15 at 13:15

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