a fool's errand

fool's errand

A task that has little to no chance of being successful or beneficial. You're on a fool's errand if you think you can convince the boss to give you more time off. We've been fighting with the city to give us the permit to build on this site for nearly a year now. It's starting to feel like a bit of a fool's errand at this point.
See also: errand
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

a ˌfool’s ˈerrand

a journey, task, etc. that is a waste of time because it was not necessary: Are you sending me on a fool’s errand again? The last time you sent me to get tickets, the play wasn’t even on.
An errand is a job that you do for somebody that involves going somewhere to take a message, to buy something, etc.
See also: errand
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
See also:
References in classic literature ?
I do not know why I had an inkling that it would appeal to Strickland's sense of humour to bring a furious stockbroker over to Paris on a fool's errand to an ill-famed house in a mean street.
Their disappointment, therefore, may easily be conceived, when they learned that their warlike attack upon Astoria had been forestalled by a snug commercial arrangement; that their anticipated booty had become British property in the regular course of traffic, and that all this had been effected by the very Company which had been instrumental in getting them sent on what they now stigmatized as a fool's errand. They felt as if they had been duped and made tools of, by a set of shrewd men of traffic, who had employed them to crack the nut, while they carried off the kernel.
'Again, we all know it's a fool's errand. Why do it?
When these seemingly positive changes result in big challenges, Mira realizes that the pursuit of perfection is a fool's errand. In order to achieve a life that's perfect for her, Mira must let go of perfection and chase what brings her true happiness."
Explaining idioms is a fool's errand. Ask my dad: I'm always up for a fool's errand.
Trying to buy friends is a fool's errand. The second is untrue in both its assumptions.
But given that Trump offered few specifics for his many sweeping campaign promises, and often reversed himself throughout the election even on his core issues, such predictions seem like a fool's errand.
"While the Assad regime, together with Russia, Iran and their proxies, has slaughtered Syrians with impunity and changed the military facts on the ground, the administration has been on a fool's errand pleading with Vladimir Putin to negotiate a political solution to the very hostilities he perpetuates," McCain said.
The older you get, the more you realise what a fool's errand much of that is."
Like the first book, A Fool's Errand features a briskly paced plot that still yields a fair number of surprises and keeps readers eagerly devouring pages right up to its cliffhanger ending.
Nation-building in a land of tribes and warlords, with no cultural tradition of central authority, was a fool's errand. The United States needs to leave and change its strategy immediately.
Gohmert's criticism was in response to remarks made by McCain in an interview with Fox News where he described Republicans' efforts to defund President Obama's signature Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, amid a US government shutdown as "a fool's errand".
This short-term tinkering is therefore a fool's errand.
The "regeneration" has become a monument to sheer incompetence and I urge Ray Mallon and the Labour councillors who backed this to now pursue an alternative path, one which will no longer leave residents fearful for their futures and herald an end to the complete waste of much-needed public money in a fool's errand which has left the ward desolated.
Predicting political races is a fool's errand - remember "Dewey Defeats Truman"?