A wild goose chase


A wild goose chase
Goose Goose (g[=oo]s), n.; pl. {Geese} (g[=e]s). [OE. gos, AS. g[=o]s, pl. g[=e]s; akin to D. & G. gans, Icel. g[=a]s, Dan. gaas, Sw. g[*a]s, Russ. guse. OIr. geiss, L. anser, for hanser, Gr. chh`n, Skr. ha[.m]sa. [root]233. Cf. {Gander}, {Gannet}, {Ganza}, {Gosling}.] (Zo["o]l.) [1913 Webster] 1. Any large web-footen bird of the subfamily {Anserin[ae]}, and belonging to {Anser}, {Branta}, {Chen}, and several allied genera. See {Anseres}. [1913 Webster]

Note: The common domestic goose is believed to have been derived from the European graylag goose ({Anser anser}). The bean goose ({A. segetum}), the American wild or Canada goose ({Branta Canadensis}), and the bernicle goose ({Branta leucopsis}) are well known species. The American white or snow geese and the blue goose belong to the genus {Chen}. See {Bernicle}, {Emperor goose}, under {Emperor}, {Snow goose}, {Wild goose}, {Brant}. [1913 Webster]

2. Any large bird of other related families, resembling the common goose. [1913 Webster]

Note: The Egyptian or fox goose ({Alopochen [AE]gyptiaca}) and the African spur-winged geese ({Plectropterus}) belong to the family {Plectropterid[ae]}. The Australian semipalmated goose ({Anseranas semipalmata}) and Cape Barren goose ({Cereopsis Nov[ae]-Hollandi[ae]}) are very different from northern geese, and each is made the type of a distinct family. Both are domesticated in Australia. [1913 Webster]

3. A tailor's smoothing iron, so called from its handle, which resembles the neck of a goose. [1913 Webster]

4. A silly creature; a simpleton. [1913 Webster]

5. A game played with counters on a board divided into compartments, in some of which a goose was depicted. [1913 Webster]

The pictures placed for ornament and use, The twelve good rules, the royal game of goose. --Goldsmith. [1913 Webster]

{A wild goose chase}, an attempt to accomplish something impossible or unlikely of attainment.

{Fen goose}. See under {Fen}.

{Goose barnacle} (Zo["o]l.), any pedunculated barnacle of the genus {Anatifa} or {Lepas}; -- called also {duck barnacle}. See {Barnacle}, and {Cirripedia}.

{Goose cap}, a silly person. [Obs.] --Beau. & .

{Goose corn} (Bot.), a coarse kind of rush ({Juncus squarrosus}).

{Goose feast}, Michaelmas. [Colloq. Eng.]

{Goose grass}. (Bot.) (a) A plant of the genus {Galium} ({G. Aparine}), a favorite food of geese; -- called also {catchweed} and {cleavers}. (b) A species of knotgrass ({Polygonum aviculare}). (c) The annual spear grass ({Poa annua}).

{Goose neck}, anything, as a rod of iron or a pipe, curved like the neck of a goose; specially (Naut.), an iron hook connecting a spar with a mast.

{Goose quill}, a large feather or quill of a goose; also, a pen made from it.

{Goose skin}. See {Goose flesh}, above.

{Goose tongue} (Bot.), a composite plant ({Achillea ptarmica}), growing wild in the British islands.

{Sea goose}. (Zo["o]l.) See {Phalarope}.

{Solan goose}. (Zo["o]l.) See {Gannet}. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Wild goose chase — Wild Wild, a. [Compar. {Wilder}; superl. {Wildest}.] [OE. wilde, AS. wilde; akin to OFries. wilde, D. wild, OS. & OHG. wildi, G. wild, Sw. & Dan. vild, Icel. villr wild, bewildered, astray, Goth. wilpeis wild, and G. & OHG. wild game, deer; of… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • wild goose chase — wild goose chases also wild goose chase N COUNT: usu on N If you are on a wild goose chase, you waste a lot of time searching for something that you have little chance of finding, because you have been given incorrect information. Harry wondered… …   English dictionary

  • wild goose chase — wild goose .chase n a situation where you are looking for something that does not exist or that you are very unlikely to find, so that you waste a lot of time ▪ It looks like they ve sent us on a wild goose chase …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • wild goose chase — A wild goose chase is a waste of time time spent trying to do something unsuccessfully …   The small dictionary of idiomes

  • wild-goose chase — n. any search, pursuit, or endeavor regarded as being as futile as trying to catch a wild goose by chasing it …   English World dictionary

  • wild-goose chase — wild′ goose′ chase n. a wild or absurd search for something nonexistent or unobtainable; a senseless pursuit • Etymology: 1585–95 …   From formal English to slang

  • wild-goose chase — wild goose ,chase noun count an attempt to find something that does not exist or that you are very unlikely to discover …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • wild goose chase — 1592, first attested in Romeo and Juliet, where it evidently is a figurative use of an earlier (but unrecorded) literal sense in reference to a kind of follow the leader steeplechase …   Etymology dictionary

  • wild goose chase — ► NOUN ▪ a foolish and hopeless search for or pursuit of something unattainable …   English terms dictionary

  • wild-goose chase — see wild goose chase …   English dictionary

  • wild-goose chase — noun the fruitless pursuit of something unattainable • Hypernyms: ↑pursuit, ↑pursuance, ↑quest * * * noun Etymology: so called from the characteristic flight of wild geese in a group spaced at intervals behind a leader that sets the course 1.… …   Useful english dictionary


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.