expedition


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fishing expedition

An attempt to discover information without knowing what it may be. The term implies that the search does not have a specific subject but is rather performed in the hopes that some new information will be found that will be beneficial to the searcher. Primarily heard in US. The defense attorney objected to the vague line of questioning, accusing the prosecutor of engaging in a fishing expedition.
See also: expedition, fishing

fishing expedition

a search for information without knowledge of whether such information exists. (This involves asking questions with no preconceived notion of what the answers might reveal.) The lawyer was on a fishing expedition. There was no real wrong committed to justify a lawsuit. Your honor, the prosecutor is just on a clumsy fishing expedition. I move for dismissal. We are going to have to go on a fishing expedition to try to find the facts.
See also: expedition, fishing

a fishing expedition

  (mainly American)
an attempt to discover the facts about something by collecting a lot of information, often secretly The investigators' request for the company's accounts is simply a fishing expedition - they have no real evidence of wrongdoing.
See also: expedition, fishing

fishing expedition

An attempt to find useful information by asking questions at random. For example, The sales force was told to go on a fishing expedition to find out what they could about the company's competitors . This expression was taken up by lawyers to describe interrogating an adversary in hopes of finding relevant evidence and is now used more broadly still. [c. 1930]
See also: expedition, fishing

fishing expedition

n. an exploratory search for facts. (This involves asking questions with no preconceived notion of what the answers might reveal.) The lawyer was on a fishing expedition. There was no real wrong committed to justify a lawsuit.
See also: expedition, fishing
References in classic literature ?
They carried this expedition so secretly, that the unwary inhabitants did not discover them, until they fired upon the forts; and, not being prepared to oppose them, were obliged to surrender themselves miserable captives to barbarous savages, who immediately after tomahawked one man and two women, and loaded all the others with heavy baggage, forcing them along toward their towns, able or unable to march.
The hostile disposition of the savages, and their allies, caused General Clark, the commandant at the Falls of the Ohio, immediately to begin an expedition with his own regiment, and the armed force of the country, against Pecaway, the principal town of the Shawanese, on a branch of Great Miami, which he finished with great success, took seventeen scalps, and burnt the town to ashes, with the loss of seventeen men.
My mother shrank further back into the friendly shadows, and from her hiding place saw that the expedition was not that of my father, but the returning caravan bearing the young Tharks.
Grandfather went on to say that the success of the expedition against Louisburg induced Shirley and Pepperell to form a scheme for conquering Canada, This plan, however, was not carried into execution.
Thus our expedition was at the time of the dry season, when the great river and its tributaries were more or less in a normal condition.
According to the narrative of the German doctor, Ferdinand Werne, the expedition attempted in 1840, under the auspices of Mehemet Ali, stopped at Gondokoro, between the fourth and fifth parallels of north latitude.
It was a determined and angry company--a punitive expedition as well as one of relief.
For an hour the little expedition rested upon the mountain-top, and then Tarzan led them down into the valley below.
Viaburi turned yellow when told that he was to accompany the expedition, and, to everybody's surprise, Lalaperu volunteered to take his place.
The Bear of the Expedition was more unapproachable than ever.
But the Scientist of the Expedition explained that he had been so engrossed with the care of his instruments and the study of his tables that he had found no time to think of it.
The story was thence carried down to the end of the expedition under Polyneices, Adrastus and Amphiarus against Thebes.
These are my enticements, and they are sufficient to conquer all fear of danger or death and to induce me to commence this laborious voyage with the joy a child feels when he embarks in a little boat, with his holiday mates, on an expedition of discovery up his native river.
Hunt, Ramsay Crooks, Robert Stuart, and other intrepid Astorians, in their ill-fated expeditions across the mountains, appeared for a time to check all further enterprise in that direction.
From those early impressions, the grand enterprise of the great fur companies, and the hazardous errantry of their associates in the wild parts of our vast continent, have always been themes of charmed interest to me; and I have felt anxious to get at the details of their adventurous expeditions among the savage tribes that peopled the depths of the wilderness.