Definition of fishing in English:



  • [mass noun] The activity of catching fish, either for food or as a sport.

    ‘the area is renowned for its excellent deep-sea fishing’
    [as modifier] ‘fishing boats’
    • ‘Over the last year, there's been a surge in illegal fishing activity in Australia's northern waters.’
    • ‘Some activities - mountain-bike hire, scuba diving and deep-sea fishing - are not included.’
    • ‘Last weekend saw a lot of fishing activity due to the great weather we've been having of late.’
    • ‘Instead of providing a person with fish for that day's food, teach him fishing so that he could be self-reliant.’
    • ‘The trips are described as the ideal way to get an introduction to the sport of fishing and meeting like minded people.’
    • ‘Those that did fish experienced very poor fishing and had only a slight improvement in the evening.’
    • ‘Deep-sea fishing is one of a number of non-sailing activities available.’
    • ‘For too long your family's presence in Scotland has been coloured by Balmoral and the late summer season with its fishing, robust outdoor activities and Highland games.’
    • ‘Since then, sport fishing has accounted for thousands of fish per year.’
    • ‘Another fishing boat picked up three bodies and a lone female survivor.’
    • ‘The fact that humans are killing about 20 to 30 million sharks a year through commercial sport and fishing is also food for thought.’
    • ‘Incidentally, second to skydiving, fishing is his favourite sport.’
    • ‘But the Spanish government continues to insist that its fishing fleet can fish in Irish water from January.’
    • ‘The researchers conducted more than 60 interviews covering various aspects of fishing activities.’
    • ‘They can fish in our waters but we can't fish in theirs, and the Mediterranean is teeming with fish while our fishing grounds are almost depleted.’
    • ‘As fishing was a communal activity, with boats crewed by different families, it was necessary to mark the fish so that its owner could be identified once the fish was landed on the beach.’
    • ‘A good flood on Monday should bring in a lot more fish, and fishing should be good this week.’
    • ‘Prizes include rods and reels, fishing tackles kits, fishing tackle packs, picnic baskets, a marine radio and aerial, plus a lot more.’
    • ‘It is there, she realises, to poach fish before the licensed fishing crews set out.’
    • ‘A fourth element involves restricting fishing activity in one or more lakes.’
    angling, trawling, catching fish
    View synonyms


  • fishing expedition

    • A search or investigation undertaken with the hope, though not the stated purpose, of discovering information.

      ‘they worried about an FBI fishing expedition’
      • ‘The commission has an unfettered power to undertake a fishing expedition to search for evidence to endeavour to prove its cases.’
      • ‘It smacks to me of a fishing expedition in the hope it may justify the prolonged nature of this otherwise pointless enquiry.’
      • ‘These laws provide a clear framework for responding to national security concerns while safeguarding against random searches, fishing expeditions or invasions of privacy.’
      • ‘I do not regard a search for what appears to be very relevant information as a mere fishing expedition.’
      • ‘Where did all the information from these fishing expeditions go?’