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 Rescue crews are scouring Trinity Bay on Tuesday morning for an 88-year-old boater who was reported missing after a fishing expedition. Jay R. Jordan, Chron, 26 Apr. 2022 This sophomore effort flashes back and forth between the springtime unfurling of Mungo and James’ love (forged in the dovecote where James raises pigeons) and the goose-pimpling fishing expedition a few months later. Hillary Kelly, Los Angeles Times, 31 Mar. 2022 The passion for Moryto to get into reality TV, in regards to his new fishing expedition, came from travelling the world and fishing in Marlin tournaments in Grenada, Tobago, Costa Rica, and Barbados. Josh Wilson, Forbes, 17 Mar. 2022 For bigger marine thrills, a dolphin cruise yields sightings in the thousands, and a fishing expedition turns up sailfish the size of small children. Condé Nast Traveler, 28 Dec. 2021 Now that’s the sort of fly-fishing expedition that might send Logan to the bait shop. Scott Tobias, Vulture, 31 Oct. 2021 During the recent magnet-fishing expedition off the Leonard Street bridge in Grand Rapids, however, Gross pulled out the tags that belonged to a soldier named Clifford J. Voight. Michael Hollan, Fox News, 22 Oct. 2021 In short, Bannon is not some random prominent Trump supporter being pursued in a fishing expedition. Amy Davidson Sorkin, The New Yorker, 22 Oct. 2021 Actually, cleaning up after a magnet-fishing expedition is significantly tougher than cleaning up after negligent picnickers. Ian Lovett, WSJ, 17 Oct. 2021 See More

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.

First Known Use of fishing expedition

1874, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Learn More About fishing expedition

Time Traveler for fishing expedition

Time Traveler

The first known use of fishing expedition was in 1874

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near fishing expedition

fishing eagle

fishing expedition

fishing float

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for fishing expedition

Last Updated

30 Apr 2022

Cite this Entry

“Fishing expedition.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Name That Food

  • a-light
  • Name these cookies!
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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