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  • snipe + hunt
  • Based on the snipe, a family of shorebirds that are notoriously difficult to hunt.



snipe hunt (plural snipe hunts)

  1. (idiomatic) A prank in which a gullible victim is sent off on a fruitless search for a nonexistent item.
    • 2012 December 13, Lucy Liu as Watson, “The Leviathan”, in Elementary, season 1, episode 10:
      And you asked Charles Briggs for the name of the man who bought the secret, and he gives you a legend. A man who might not even exist. You know what, this is a snipe hunt.
    Synonyms: fool's errand, wild goose chase



snipe hunt (third-person singular simple present snipe hunts, present participle snipe hunting, simple past and past participle snipe hunted)

  1. (intransitive) To participate, as the gullible victim, in a snipe hunt.