fish for


1

Try to obtain something through artifice or indirectly. For example, He was always fishing for compliments, or, as William Makepeace Thackeray put it in Vanity Fair (1848): “The first woman who fishes for him, hooks him.” [Mid-1500s]

2

Search for something, as in I’ve fished for it in all the drawers. [First half of 1700s]

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