fish out(redirected from fish someone out)
1. To pull someone or something from a body or container of water, as if by fishing. A noun or pronoun can be used between "fish" and "out." Emergency services had to fish the drunken swimmer out of the freezing river after he started getting into difficulty. No, I will not fish out your keys for you. You're the one who dropped them in the toilet!
2. To find and retrieve something (from within something else). A noun or pronoun can be used between "fish" and "out." It took me a minute to fish my keys out of my bag.
3. To completely empty something of fish, as of a body of water where fishing is common. Typically used in passive constructions. We won't catch anything here if it's already fished out.
1. Also, fish up. Discover and retrieve something from a pile or store. For example, She finally fished out the right letter from the files, or He fished up a scandal for the paper to run in the early edition. This usage likens pulling fish from the sea to finding something. [Mid-1600s]
2. Deplete the fish in a body of water by fishing, as in This stream is completely fished out.