Definition of be barking up the wrong tree in English:

be barking up the wrong tree

phrase

informal
  • Be pursuing a mistaken or misguided line of thought or course of action.

    ‘his wife thinks he's under suspicion, but I'm sure she's barking up the wrong tree’
    • ‘The controversy that is now starting up about the tactics the Russian authorities used in freeing the Moscow hostages is just the media barking up the wrong tree as usual.’
    • ‘We feel we are tantalizing close to a complete unified theory, but we might be miles away or barking up the wrong tree.’
    • ‘We're barking up the wrong tree if we think that ‘taxing the rich’ will solve all our problems.’
    • ‘And assuming that there had been a positive correlation between such crimes and women dressing, you would still be barking up the wrong tree.’
    • ‘‘It seems a shame that people who live in the town feel the same way but on the other hand it proves I was not barking up the wrong tree,’ he said.’
    • ‘Perhaps social critics are simply barking up the wrong tree.’
    • ‘‘This would allow people to ring up newspapers and tell them they were barking up the wrong tree, should apologise and should not publish the information,’ said the Mr Kaufman.’
    • ‘We also tried formulating a cunning plan to discourage a girl who's after him and needs to know she's barking up the wrong tree (so to speak).’
    • ‘Those claiming that the Tramore AFC youth squad's frenetic programme of matches in such a short period, so close to vital examinations, is due to their cup run are barking up the wrong tree.’
    • ‘I could be barking up the wrong tree here, but it's also very likely that my desire to conform is more unhealthy that trying to fit into a concept of uniform societal behaviour.’
    • ‘This is interesting and if it's true then we are all barking up the wrong tree with this discussion of ‘values.’’
    • ‘Let's be clear here - no-one is predicting that violence will cease due to this capture so harping on about that is an exercise in barking up the wrong tree.’
    • ‘See how the how The Age's Stephen Bartholomeusz responds when he believes Herald Sun hack Terry McCrann is barking up the wrong tree.’
    • ‘If they don't look at that seriously, we were barking up the wrong tree.’
    • ‘The ‘homophobia’ is pretty much present in the source material: anybody looking to Burroughs for an uplifting coming-out story is barking up the wrong tree.’
    • ‘However, pardon my pun, but I think he's barking up the wrong tree when he says that ‘marriage is the sapling and family the fully grown tree.’’
    • ‘Correct me if I'm barking up the wrong liberal guilt tree, but I am supposed to believe it's no one's fault if folks are fat - sorry, obese?’
    • ‘‘Countries, including Jamaica, are barking up the wrong tree if they expect continuation of preferential treatment in a time of increased competition among states,’ said the Jamaica Gleaner.’
    • ‘In my opinion, Congress is barking up the wrong tree here.’
    • ‘But if you're - to tell you the truth, David, if you're thinking I care about this particular story, you're barking up the wrong tree.’