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 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.

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First Known Use of fishing expedition

1874, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

20 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for fishing expedition

The first known use of fishing expedition was in 1874

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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

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