Definition of wild goose chase in English:

wild goose chase


  • A foolish and hopeless search for or pursuit of something unattainable.

    ‘physicists searching for the hypothetical particle may be on a wild goose chase’
    • ‘If we continue to believe that we need to find that one right person or that one wise individual, then we are stuck on a hopeless road of a wild goose chase.’
    • ‘Happily, this decision enabled me to make numerous references to Mirkin's goose being cooked, going on a wild goose chase, looking for Mother Goose, and comments such as ‘have a gander at this goose’.’
    • ‘He leads Guérin on a wild goose chase to a remote cabin, and forces her to endure a scenery-chewing description of his hobby, which all along was a misdirected plea for love.’
    • ‘On each occasion to date, the search for the unholy grail has proved more of a wild goose chase.’
    • ‘They don't like being brought on wild goose chases up and down here to meetings in Claremorris.’
    • ‘However, since most of you haven't got the time or the inclination to go on a wild goose chase, let alone research obscure yet positively breath-taking phobias, I thought I would give you a peek.’
    • ‘The most damaging consequences are to scientists working in the area, whose research may be delayed by being sent on a wild goose chase, and to the reputations of scientific journals.’
    • ‘Elliot said in a lecture in 1956 that he was sorry he sent so many people off on a wild goose chase for meanings that were not there.’
    • ‘Other journalists were sent on wild goose chases across Newport to non-existent accreditation offices.’
    • ‘We finally convinced a judge to do testing on that, over the objection of the prosecution's office, who said that I was already convicted twice, and this was a wild goose chase.’
    • ‘And tracking down ingredients such as tat tsoi no longer feels like a wild goose chase, since speciality foods are now stocked in many supermarkets.’
    • ‘He considers that I was on a wild goose chase in searching for the American poet ‘Corduroy’ mentioned in a reminiscence of Clare in the asylum.’
    • ‘Similarly the number of calls to police helplines meant that, however well intentioned, the search was sent off on several wild goose chases.’
    • ‘I set off an a wild goose chase for corned beef and white pudding, but having no luck, I returned to the hotel for a late lunch, and relaxed in my room for a while, including having a much needed snooze.’
    • ‘But the real downside of media-sponsored rewards is that people seeking to cash in will pass information that sends investigating officers off on wild goose chases.’
    • ‘It'll all be that kind of guess work, and many wild goose chases.’
    • ‘But the hunt stank of a wild goose chase as soon as it began.’
    • ‘Sir, again, the people in those vehicles potentially were witnesses, and never in my mind would I classify a potential witness as a wild goose chase.’
    • ‘When we arrived at the address, a highrise near Vancouver General Hospital, we realized it was a home for senior citizens and that we were probably on a wild goose chase.’
    • ‘Trying to find decent (not laughable) gifts whilst fighting pushy people and time constraints is like going on a wild goose chase.’


wild goose chase

/wʌɪld ˈɡuːs tʃeɪs/