fishing expedition

noun

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 In other words, there would be new restrictions on pretextual stops, which disproportionately subject Black and Latino drivers to ineffective fishing expeditions for more serious crimes. Erika D. Smithcolumnist, Los Angeles Times, 18 Feb. 2023 Democrats have denounced the inquiry as a fishing expedition and a political stunt. Luke Broadwater, New York Times, 13 Dec. 2023 Spota’s staff members, who would have had to request the warrants for that data, waved off the idea as a fishing expedition. Robert Kolker, New York Times, 19 Oct. 2023 The two kept in touch over the years, with Jacobson inviting Truman on hunting and fishing expeditions on the Missouri River. Timothy Bella, Washington Post, 17 Oct. 2023 The Magnolia Network star, 45, shared a fun video of son Crew, 5, enjoying an indoor fishing expedition as the two try to beat the south's heat. Angela Andaloro, Peoplemag, 8 Aug. 2023 The White House has denied wrongdoing and called Comer’s inquiries a hyper-partisan fishing expedition. Bart Jansen, USA TODAY, 21 Feb. 2023 But Assistant District Attorney Adam C. Lally said the defense is conducting a fishing expedition. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, 24 May 2023 The case is a fishing expedition—or, more accurately, a case about fishing expeditions. Matt Ford, The New Republic, 1 May 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'fishing expedition.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1874, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of fishing expedition was in 1874

Dictionary Entries Near fishing expedition

Cite this Entry

“Fishing expedition.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fishing%20expedition. Accessed 4 Mar. 2024.

Legal Definition

fishing expedition

noun
fish·​ing ex·​pe·​di·​tion
-ˌek-spə-ˈdi-shən
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
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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