Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
To pursue goals that are unrealistic, fanciful, or unlikely to happen. You can't chase rainbows your whole life—you need to pick a stable career and start being an adult.
Constantly pursuing things that are unrealistic or unlikely to happen. You can't always be chasing rainbows your whole life—you need to pick a stable career and start being an adult.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
Pursuing illusionary goals, trying to achieve impossible things. The term comes from the old tale about finding a crock of gold if one digs at the end of the rainbow, where it touches earth. The idea of chasing rainbows as equivalent to a fruitless quest was expressed in the nineteenth century; those who did so were called “rainbow chasers.” A popular song, “I’m Always Chasing Rainbows,” with words by Joseph McCarthy and music by Harry Carroll (based on Chopin’s C-sharp minor Fantasy Impromptu), was published in 1918. It was used in several motion pictures, among them Ziegfeld Girl, with Judy Garland, and was revived with considerable success in 1946.
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer