fishing expedition

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • n fishing expedition an investigation undertaken in the hope (but not the stated purpose) of discovering information
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Idioms

On a fishing expedition - If someone is on a fishing expedition, they are trying to get information, often using incorrect or improper ways to find things out.
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Usage

In literature:

There must be abstinence from the sex relation before a fishing expedition.
"Folkways" by William Graham Sumner
Like the otter, it lives upon fish and frogs, but will occasionally make a marauding expedition into poultry-yards.
"The Western World" by W.H.G. Kingston
Elsmere enjoyed these fishing expeditions like a boy.
"Robert Elsmere" by Mrs. Humphry Ward
Skookie took command of the expedition, for he seemed to know instinctively where the best fish could be found.
"The Young Alaskans" by Emerson Hough
A Kingfisher sat on the edge of a boat that a young man had prepared for a fishing expedition.
"Little Folks" by Various
At breakfast she discovered that Judge Trent and Dunham had departed early on a fishing expedition.
"The Opened Shutters" by Clara Louise Burnham
The boys were wont to be off on fishing expeditions once more, and over hill and dale she followed them in spite of all opposition.
"'Lizbeth of the Dale" by Marian Keith
Brown had returned from a fishing expedition, and, after partaking of a most welcome dinner, was relating some of his fishing experiences.
"The Scrap Book, Volume 1, No. 1" by Various
Still more attractive than the rows by day are the night expeditions in search of Jelly-Fishes.
"The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 16, No. 98, December, 1865" by Various
Plans had been in progress for some time, among the fish-folk and their human subjects, to send an expedition to the surface.
"Astounding Stories, August, 1931" by Various
In the meantime, while we were on the goat expedition, the second mate's boat had left the ship on a fishing excursion.
"The Story of a Strange Career" by Anonymous
One of the few recreations Mr Nugent allowed himself, was a fishing expedition on board a trawler.
"Digby Heathcote" by W.H.G. Kingston
It was, in fact, a legal fishing expedition and little more.
"The Boss of Wind River" by A. M. Chisholm
It asked for the blessing of God on the fishing expedition which was about to set out.
"The Deemster" by Hall Caine
Occasionally, while engaged in a boating expedition, we may encounter a party of three or four occupied in fishing.
"British Birds in their Haunts" by Rev. C. A. Johns
A great fishing expedition, with a feast of fish in the evening.
"Wild Life in the Land of the Giants" by Gordon Stables
Expedition to the mouth of the Great Fish River, &c., in the years 1833, 1834, and 1835.
"A Journey from Prince of Wales's Fort in Hudson's Bay to the Northern Ocean in the Years 1769, 1770, 1771, 1772" by Samuel Hearne
Perhaps it was also that growing wonder what she must think of fishing expeditions without fishing.
"Mushroom Town" by Oliver Onions
Pierre and I soon became firm friends, and I persuaded him on one occasion to take me on one of his fishing expeditions.
"The Catholic World. Volume II; Numbers 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12." by E. Rameur
The men refrain from visiting their wives on the day before they start for a hunting or fishing expedition.
"The Tribes and Castes of the Central Provinces of India" by R. V. Russell
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In news:

Asian carp DNA triggers new Chicago River fishing expedition .
Democrats are on political ' fishing expedition ' in Roy Schmidt grand jury request.
Leviathan on a fishing expedition .
Schneiderman's Partisan Fishing Expedition .
A federal judge in Texas has ended a lawyer's fishing expedition in search of evidence to sue over the Facebook initial public offering before it even had a chance to become a lawsuit.
The federal fishing expedition on the Gowanus.
The purported excuse for undertaking this particular fishing expedition, in mid-July, was to test our newly crafted split bamboo fishing rod .
The purported excuse for undertaking this particular fishing expedition, in mid-July, was to test our newly crafted split bamboo fishing rod.
Feds' Inept Fishing Expedition Sinks Scientist.
An author's instructive fishing expedition.
In this Sept 7, 2012, photo, Ocearch expedition leader Chris Fischer steps onto a small sport fishing boat to check chum locations for signs of great white shark activity in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Chatham, Mass.
Asian carp DNA triggers new Chicago River fishing expedition.
Colo ID theft probe was 'fishing expedition '.
Seven boaters from the San Francisco Bay area are still missing after their fishing expedition ended with a tragic capsize off the coast of Mexico.
A fishing expedition has a fishing tale of the one that didn't get away.
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In science:

Conversely, increasing the number of questions, coupled with a willingness to accept any signal that comes our way without taking care of multiple comparisons, will turn any study into little more than a “fishing expedition”.
Is There Statistical Evidence that the Oregon Payday-Loan Rate Cap Hurts Consumers?
Not only does the report ignore multiple comparisons; the author also combines several original survey questions to create new comparisons, thus engaging even more aggressively in a “fishing expedition”.
Is There Statistical Evidence that the Oregon Payday-Loan Rate Cap Hurts Consumers?
Avoid the classic mistake of looking like you are going on a ‘fishing expedition’ (unless of course you are after cosmic coelacanths in which case we might be convinced).
Anglo-Australian Observatory February 2009 newsletter
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