fish for

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fish for (something)

1. Literally, to seek a particular kind of fish while fishing. I heard we're fishing for salmon today.
2. To grope around for something with one's hands. I'm fishing for your phone under the couch, but I don't think it's down here, Mom!
3. To pursue something indirectly, often compliments, as by saying negative things about oneself. Quit fishing for compliments—we all liked your performance, OK?
See also: fish

fish for something

1. Lit. to try to catch a particular kind of fish. We are fishing for cod today, but we'll take whatever we get. We will fish for perch from the riverbank.
2. Fig. to seek some kind of information. You could tell the lawyer was fishing for something from the vague way she asked the questions. The telephone caller was fishing for too much information, so I hung up.
See also: fish

fish for

1. Try to obtain something through artifice or indirectly. For example, He was always fishing for compliments, or, as William Makepeace Thackeray put it in Vanity Fair (1848): "The first woman who fishes for him, hooks him." [Mid-1500s]
2. Search for something, as in I've fished for it in all the drawers. [First half of 1700s]
See also: fish

fish for

To seek something by or as if by probing: I fished for my blue socks in the top drawer of the dresser. Instead of just fishing for compliments, you should try to get constructive criticism.
See also: fish
References in periodicals archive ?
Researchers tested children of women who ate at least four pounds a year of PCB-contaminated Lake Michigan fish for six years before thev gave birth.
If the catch is kingfish, shark, white croaker, sturgeon, or perch, it's a safe bet it was hauled from the bay by a low-income person of color who is planning on fish for dinner.
There is an urgent need, Tacon says, to make these "industrial" fish a food source for humans rather than for livestock, and more research efforts should focus on how to properly process these fish for direct human consumption, especially in poor countries.
If this trend continues, the FAO foresees a shortfall of some 30 million tons of fish for human diets by the year 2000 - at a time when the planet's population is rising by about 100 million people annually.
In 1986 the FDA inspected six pounds of fish for every million pounds eaten.
However, the area immediately downstream of the dam site had reduced populations of river fish for up to 3 years after dam removal--presumably from the effects of released sediment, Hart says.
At the same time, coastal populations of people who rely on fish for their protein are burgeoning around the globe, says Lester R.
For instance, scientists have begun rearing fish for restocking the wild.
Clarkson points out, however, that studies conducted in communities that depend on fish for their dietary protein (including ones in Canada and Sweden) have identified individuals whose diets apparently provide 200 times the federally permissible mercury limit for fish sold in the United States -- and 23 times the amount considered "tolerable" by the World Health Organization.