fishing 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

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

a fishing expedition

mainly AMERICAN
If you are on a fishing expedition, you are trying to find out facts about something, often secretly. I know why you're here. You're on a fishing expedition. You're hunting for material. He was asked whether Wilkey was engaged in a fishing expedition aimed at politically embarrassing the House.
See also: expedition, fishing

a fishing expedition

a search or investigation undertaken with the hope, though not the stated purpose, of discovering information.
1998 High Country News Agency insiders describe the inquiry as a fishing expedition to uncover evidence that Dombeck may have been a party to illegal lobbying.
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 periodicals archive ?
But you can tell by how he reacts and how often he reacts that he doesn't enjoy my fishing expeditions.
Options to include a powerboat for an additional charge and offer fishing expeditions.
The fishing expeditions in the West Philippine Sea usually lasted three months, he said.
ON THE RIVER Chartered boats If you want to get serious about your fishing expeditions, some boat companies, such as Mersey Lass, allow you to charter a boat so you can head out into the river and get the true fisherman experience.
I kiss each one before I throw it back" Actress Jane Fonda, describing her fishing expeditions in Montana.
I kiss each one before I throw it back" Actress Jane Fonda, on her fishing expeditions in Montana.
Mowing lawns, wygrabianie leaves, cutting care shrubs, plants and trees planting, tending flower beds removal of trees and removing suckers volunteer, cleaning, repair benches and bins, benches fishing expeditions, fishing expeditions into baskets, removing scum from the water tank plant.
The fisherman explained that the current prices covered the costs of the fishing expeditions ranging for periods of five to seven days.
Sunset cruises, dolphin watching, private boat excursions and fishing expeditions are aboard a luxury Prestige yacht or traditional Maldivian 'bahtheli' boat.
That the fishing expeditions, the selective gathering of material and witnesses, is all of a piece, part of a process not aimed at arriving at the truth of the alleged event, but at trying to indict me no matter what the facts.
Rescue services advised the residents to postpone outings, hunting or fishing expeditions.
But this case is way different from hacking phones on so-called fishing expeditions for tittle-tattle.
Thomas Sutter, spokesman for the Swiss Banking Association, said, 'We do not fundamentally oppose requests according to behavioural patterns, as long as fishing expeditions are clearly ruled out.
Nearby Loch Linnhe offers the older thrillseekers the opportunity to sail, enjoy fishing expeditions and other watersports.
On-board 'boys toys' add an extra dimension, and corporate fishing expeditions are another option.