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fishing trip

fishing expedition

noun, Informal.
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.
any inquiry carried on without any clearly defined plan or purpose in the hope of discovering useful information.
Also called fishing trip.
Origin of fishing expedition
1960-65 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for fishing-trip
Historical Examples
  • At night, however, an unexpected event occurred, which delayed their fishing-trip until the next week.

    The Rival Campers Afloat Ruel Perley Smith
  • A recent writer tells in one of his books of an experience he had as a boy when he went on a fishing-trip with his father.

  • Tom had taken a pocketful of sandwiches, and gone off for a fishing-trip.

    Winona of the Camp Fire Margaret Widdemer
  • They stood in inane suspense till Bresnahan led them out, rumbling, "How about planning a fishing-trip, Will?"

    Main Street Sinclair Lewis
Slang definitions & phrases for fishing-trip

fishing expedition

noun phrase

An attempt, on the part of the police, a prosecutor, etc, to discover evidence where it may or may not be; a sort of inquisition: She had nothing special in mind to ask Joan Tesell; it was just a fishing expedition (1961+)

Related Terms

go fishing

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with fishing-trip

fishing expedition

An attempt to find useful information by asking questions at random. For example, The sales force was told to go on a fishing expedition to find out what they could about the company's competitors. This expression was taken up by lawyers to describe interrogating an adversary in hopes of finding relevant evidence and is now used more broadly still. [ c. 1930 ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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