A prolonged, useless, or chaotic search for something that is difficult to find or for something that does not exist.
1. First my cousin told me I could buy what I needed at one store; then she sent me to three more. I never did find it. She sent me on a wild-goose chase.
2. Tom went all over town from one office to another trying to find out how he could apply to change his citizenship. At the end of the day, he was no closer to finding out, and he had been on a wild-goose chase.
3. Why go on a wild-goose chase looking for a good English teacher when you have so many to choose from here on Verbling?
This expression is first recorded in Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet, and at that time actually referred to horse racing, not birds as the as the phrase might imply. In horse racing a wild-goose chase was a type of racing where the horses run in a V-like formation, similar to the way birds f ly. Later, the connection to horse racing was lost in use, and people assumed the phrase came from f lying geese.
Idiom: a group of words that means something different than the individual words it contains.
"Americans use about four idioms in every minute of conversation. If you don't see the light of American English Idiom, you're in the dark understanding American English!" Mentor Josephan P. Sterling
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Mentor Josephan's Idiom of The Day.
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