A wild goose chase

Also found in: Idioms.
Related to A wild goose chase: What's Sauce for the Goose
an attempt to accomplish something impossible or unlikely of attainment.

See also: Goose

References in periodicals archive ?
She said they went on a wild goose chase while looking for him.
The female officer attempts to disperse the birds but is given something of a wild goose chase before returning to her vehicle.
A memorable season for Caldy may have ended with a wild goose chase but the day and this promotion season will never be forgotten by everyone involved.
And they were also concerned they could be on a wild goose chase to rescue Harvey in time.
POLICE were led on a wild goose chase across Coventry after a "kidnapping" in a city park.
At the heart of the film - billed as fiction, though based on true accounts - lies the tragic story of Ian (Chiwetel Ejiofor, ``Dirty Pretty Things'' and ``Inside Man'') and Susie Carter (Sophie Okonedo, ``Hotel Rwanda''), a British couple whose lives unravel when their daughter disappears in the tsunami and they embark upon a wild goose chase to try to locate her.
A free map given out at Alnwick's tourist information centre is leading tourists on a wild goose chase, as the swimming pool and cricket ground are shown to be at sites they have not occupied for years.
We then proceeded to send him on a wild goose chase from Washington to LaGuardia Airport to East 76th Street in Garden City, Long Island, where we had told him he would find Bill, to East 76th Street in New York City, where Bill actually was.
He manages to send most of his rivals off on a wild goose chase, leaving him free to hunt at his own pace.