fishing expedition


Definition of fishing expedition

1 : a legal interrogation or examination to discover information for a later proceeding
2 : an investigation that does not stick to a stated objective but hopes to uncover incriminating or newsworthy evidence

Examples of fishing expedition in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The retired schoolteacher opened a cooler full of shrimp from an acquaintance who went on a fishing expedition 130 miles south in a river that empties into the Atlantic Ocean. Star Tribune, "Looking Back At Tuesday's Record Snow - Another Wintry And Rainy System Thursday," 21 Oct. 2020 Go Fishing University went off with a new twist as the nonprofit organization offered a virtual classroom presentation, skill practices, some networking opportunities mixed in with an optional charter boat fishing expedition. Emmett Hall,, "Ladies, Let’s Go Fishing seminar a virtual success," 10 Sep. 2020 During a brief hearing before a three-judge appeals court panel Tuesday, Trump attorney William Consovoy repeated his assertion that the subpoena represents a fishing expedition and a form of harassment. Richard Wolf, USA TODAY, "Trump wins short delay in effort to shield financial records from prosecutors," 1 Sep. 2020 Some courts have held that this kind of fishing expedition is analogous to the broad document requests in the Hubbell case. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "NJ Supreme Court: No 5th Amendment right not to unlock your phone," 11 Aug. 2020 Trump's lawyers have attacked the subpoenas on several grounds in an effort to make Congress' probes look more like a fishing expedition than a legislative endeavor. Richard Wolf, USA TODAY, "President Trump has one last chance to keep tax returns, financial records secret: the Supreme Court," 5 Dec. 2019 Any fears of a fishing expedition can be assuaged by search protections already baked into the laws, Wexler told The Chronicle. Megan Cassidy,, "Facebook, Twitter hold evidence that could save people from prison. And they’re not giving it up," 21 Jan. 2020 This follows Konovalov's earlier prediction that the criminal charges were merely being used as an excuse to go on a fishing expedition for leverage to use in a civil case. Jim Salter, Ars Technica, "Russian media group Rambler attempting to hold Nginx hostage," 16 Dec. 2019 Data mining, fishing expeditions and data dredging are other descriptors that had been applied to the act of p-hacking. Wired, "We're All 'P-Hacking' Now," 26 Nov. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'fishing expedition.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of fishing expedition

1874, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for fishing expedition

Time Traveler

The first known use of fishing expedition was in 1874

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Cite this Entry

“Fishing expedition.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for fishing expedition

fishing expedition

fish·​ing ex·​pe·​di·​tion | \ -ˌek-spə-ˈdi-shən \

Legal Definition of fishing expedition

1 : an inquiry (as by the use of discovery) that is unnecessarily extensive or unrelated to the lawsuit
2 : an investigation that does not stick to a stated objective but hopes to uncover incriminating or newsworthy evidence

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