fishing-expedition

fishing expedition

noun Informal.
1.
a legal proceeding mainly for the purpose of interrogating an adversary, or of examining his or her property and documents, in order to gain useful information.
2.
any inquiry carried on without any clearly defined plan or purpose in the hope of discovering useful information.
Also called fishing trip.


Origin:
1960–65

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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WordNet
fishing expedition

noun
an investigation undertaken in the hope (but not the stated purpose) of discovering information 
WordNet® 3.0, © 2006 by Princeton University.
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