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Wild-Goose Chase

A useless hunt, a worthless chase, a futile search


  • The expression was first used by William Shakespeare in his famous play Romeo and Juliet. The expression gained popularity in the 17th century. The phrase stem from the fact that it is almost impossible to catch a wild goose. The expression is similar to catching a greased pig i.e. a very difficult task. This idiom can also be used to refer to a particular horse race where the horses are bound to follow the leader.

The police wasted two hours on a wild-goose chase.

Submitted on February 25, 2019

Additional definitions for 'Wild-Goose Chase':

wild-goose chaseA futile search, a fruitless errand; a useless and often lengthy pursuit.
wild-goose chaseA task whose execution is inordinately complex relative to the value of the outcome.
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