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

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, published 1913 by G. & C. Merriam Co.
References in periodicals archive ?
'Before the general election, Pakatan Harapan convinced the people that they were full of ideas but they have been making many wrong turns and leading the people on a wild goose chase.
Programme for Sunday, October 14: 6.45am "Dawn Flight" on the reserve, with centre manager Brian Morrell; 11am-noon "Solway to Svalbard, a Musician's Journey" talk by Stuart MacPherson; 1-2pm "A Wild Goose Chase - how the barnacle goose got its name" talk by Dr David Borthwick, Glasgow University; 2.30-3pm "Oral History interviews" with Morag Walker from the Solway Coastwise project; 3-4pm "Goose Sounds Workshop" out on the reserve, with the centre manager Brian Morrell.
Just as Stephanie's lifeless body is found at the bottom of a lake, Nicky reveals that he just saw his missing mom lurking at the school premises-a creepy development that sends Stephanie on what initially seems like a wild goose chase.
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.
Yes, we went on a wild goose chase. If you look at the numbers: 350 million middle-class consumers, 500 million under the age of 25 - big numbers were thrown, which kicked up the euphoria.
FEB 28 -MAR 13: Go on a wild goose chase with a difference (right) in Dumfries and Galloway.
POLICE were led on a wild goose chase across Coventry after a "kidnapping" in a city park.
The expression 'going round Robin Hood's barn' has a meaning much the same as 'being sent on a wild goose chase'.
He led the English king through the uplands of Deheubarth for several wasted weeks on a wild goose chase to allow Owain the chance to make his escape to Gwynedd where he could consolidate a position of strength"
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.