wild-goose chase


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wild goose chase

A prolonged or chaotic search for something that is difficult to find (often because it does not exist). I've been on a wild goose chase trying to find a bag of Dan's favorite potato chips. Those jerks sent me on a wild goose chase to find a copy of a book that hasn't been released yet!
See also: chase, goose, wild
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

wild-goose chase

a worthless hunt or chase; a futile pursuit. I wasted all afternoon on a wild-goose chase. John was angry because he was sent out on a wild-goose chase.
See also: chase
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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References in periodicals archive ?
They caused probably the biggest wild-goose chase in British criminal history and a switch of inquiries from this area to Wearside which cost pounds 4m.
The bizarre tape was broadcast nationally and sent police on the biggest wild-goose chase in British criminal history with the hoax inquiry costing police hundreds of man -hours and more than pounds 4m.
Behind Nelson, the star of the film is an ever-present bluegrass soundtrack that rambles and pops as the three challenged heroes seem doomed to run in circles on their wild-goose chase for fortune, freedom, and a way home.
The finding shows that 220 years of research on the hoatzin was no wild-goose chase.
The Wild-Goose Chase, a play that is notable for its irony and easy wit, is the most urbane and consistent in tone of his comedies.