fishing expedition

noun

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 There are six pieces of crab; finding all of them will feel exciting at first, but then like a tiresome fishing expedition. Jiayang Fan, The New Yorker, "The Unapologetic Decadence of Hutong," 31 Aug. 2019 Prosecutors called the motion a fishing expedition. Bruce Vielmetti, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Credibility and consent at issue in sexual assault trial of former Badger Quintez Cephus," 29 July 2019 The avid fly fisherman had chartered a day trip with a local tour guide, 53-year-old Mario Graniel, who was also fatally shot on the fishing expedition. Andrea Mandell, USA TODAY, "Virginia cardiologist shot and killed while on vacation in Belize," 25 June 2019 And the idea that he's allowed to do this fishing expedition, to me isn't an egregious abuse of justice and the rule of law. Fox News, "Kellyanne Conway: Incomplete press coverage harms America," 3 Aug. 2018 There is still today at the end of the day no corroboration and you just don't open an FBI investigation as a fishing expedition to try and find something that doesn't exist. Fox News, "Kavanaugh's high school friend reacts to fiery testimony," 28 Sep. 2018 In essence, the investigation was a fishing expedition, in which Weinberg posed as the representative of a wealthy, unscrupulous sheikh aiming to do business in the United States. Harrison Smith, latimes.com, "Mel Weinberg, con artist at center of Abscam sting that landed U.S. politicians in prison, dies at 93," 9 June 2018 His defenders accused investigators of needlessly sullying Esquith’s reputation with a fishing expedition that was determined to find behavioral blemishes or worse. Howard Blume, latimes.com, "L.A. Unified settles lawsuits with teacher Rafe Esquith," 13 Sep. 2017 This is just a huge fishing expedition that the law doesn't allow. Ken Daley, NOLA.com, "Convicted 3-N-G gang leader wants judge to toss conviction," 12 Sep. 2017

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.

See More

First Known Use of fishing expedition

1874, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about fishing expedition

Statistics for fishing expedition

Time Traveler for fishing expedition

The first known use of fishing expedition was in 1874

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for fishing expedition

fishing expedition

noun
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

More from Merriam-Webster on fishing expedition

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with fishing expedition

Comments on fishing expedition

What made you want to look up fishing expedition? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to spread as a report or rumor

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Confusing Words—A Quiz

  • alice with tweedle dee and tweedle dum
  • I invented a brand new toaster robot and ______ it "Sir Toasts-a-Lot."
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!