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wild goose chase

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Also see:goose | chase

WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2016
wild /waɪld/USA pronunciation   adj.,  -er, -est, adv., n. 
  1. living in a state of nature and not tamed:wild animals running free in the forest.
  2. growing or produced without being grown and cared for by humans, as flowers;
    not cultivated:wild flowers.
  3. without people living there;
    not inhabited;
    undeveloped:wild country.
  4. not civilized;
    savage:The wild Northmen raided the coasts of England.
  5. having or showing violence or great strength and destruction:a wild storm.
  6. characterized by violent feelings:a wild look.
  7. very excited;
    frantic:That glamorous movie star drives him wild.
  8. very eager or enthusiastic:[be + ~]She's wild about her new job.
  9. not disciplined;
    uncontrollable:a gang of wild boys.
  10. not controlled by reason;
    not held back;
    uncontrolled:He had some wild schemes to get rich quick.
  11. wide of one's aim or goal:a wild pitch.
  12. Games(of a card) having its value decided by the wishes of the players:Deuces are wild.

  1. in a wild manner:The gangs were running wild in the streets.

n. [countable]
  1. Often,  wilds. [plural] an area of land that has not been cultivated;
    wilderness or wasteland.
wild•ly, adv.: He ran off screaming wildly about snakes and demons after him.
wild•ness, n. [uncountable]

WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2016
wild  (wīld),USA pronunciation adj.,  -er, -est, adv., n. 
  1. living in a state of nature;
    not tamed or domesticated:a wild animal; wild geese.
  2. growing or produced without cultivation or the care of humans, as plants, flowers, fruit, or honey:wild cherries.
  3. uncultivated, uninhabited, or waste:wild country.
  4. uncivilized or barbarous:wild tribes.
  5. of unrestrained violence, fury, intensity, etc.;
    furious:wild strife; wild storms.
  6. characterized by or indicating violent feelings or excitement, as actions or a person's appearance:wild cries; a wild look.
  7. frantic or distracted;
    crazy:to drive someone wild.
  8. violently or uncontrollably affected:wild with rage; wild with pain.
  9. undisciplined, unruly, or lawless:a gang of wild boys.
  10. unrestrained, untrammeled, or unbridled:wild enthusiasm.
  11. disregardful of moral restraints as to pleasurable indulgence:He repented his wild youth.
  12. unrestrained by reason or prudence:wild schemes.
  13. amazing or incredible:Isn't that wild about Bill getting booted out of the club?
  14. disorderly or disheveled:wild hair.
  15. wide of the mark:He scored on a wild throw.
  16. [Informal.]intensely eager or enthusiastic:wild to get started; wild about the new styles.
  17. [Cards.](of a card) having its value decided by the wishes of the players.
  18. [Metall.](of molten metal) generating large amounts of gas during cooling, so as to cause violent bubbling.

  1. in a wild manner;
  2. Miningblow wild, (of an oil or gas well) to spout in an uncontrolled way, as in a blowout. Cf.  blowout (def. 4).
  3. run wild: 
    • to grow unchecked:The rambler roses are running wild.
    • to show lack of restraint or control:Those children are allowed to run wild.

  1. Often,  wilds. an uncultivated, uninhabited, or desolate region or tract;
    desert:a cabin in the wild; a safari to the wilds of Africa.
wildly, adv. 
wildness, n. 
  • bef. 900; Middle English, Old English wilde; cognate with Dutch, German wild, Old Norse villr, Swedish vild, Gothic wiltheis
    • 1.See corresponding entry in Unabridged undomesticated, untamed, unbroken;
    • 4.See corresponding entry in Unabridged barbarian, savage.
    • 5.See corresponding entry in Unabridged tempestuous, stormy, frenzied, turbulent.
    • 6.See corresponding entry in Unabridged boisterous.
    • 7.See corresponding entry in Unabridged insane.
    • 9.See corresponding entry in Unabridged self-willed, riotous, unrestrained, wayward.
    • 10.See corresponding entry in Unabridged uncontrollable.
    • 12.See corresponding entry in Unabridged reckless, rash, extravagant, impracticable.
    • 13.See corresponding entry in Unabridged grotesque, bizarre, strange, fanciful.
    • 14.See corresponding entry in Unabridged unkempt.
    • 1.See corresponding entry in Unabridged tame.

Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

wild /waɪld/ adj
  1. (of animals) living independently of man; not domesticated or tame
  2. (of plants) growing in a natural state; not cultivated
  3. uninhabited or uncultivated; desolate: a wild stretch of land
  4. living in a savage or uncivilized way: wild tribes
  5. lacking restraint: wild merriment
  6. of great violence or intensity: a wild storm
  7. disorderly or chaotic: wild thoughts, wild talk
  8. dishevelled; untidy: wild hair
  9. in a state of extreme emotional intensity: wild with anger
  10. reckless: wild speculations
  11. not calculated; random: a wild guess
  12. unconventional; fantastic; crazy: wild friends
  13. (postpositive) followed by about: informal intensely enthusiastic or excited
  14. (of a card, such as a joker or deuce in some games) able to be given any value the holder pleases
  15. wild and woollyrough; untamed; barbarous
  16. (of theories, plans, etc) not fully thought out
  1. in a wild manner
  2. run wildto grow without cultivation or care
  3. to behave without restraint
  1. (often plural) a desolate, uncultivated, or uninhabited region
  2. the wilda free natural state of living
  3. the wilderness
Etymology: Old English wilde; related to Old Saxon, Old High German wildi, Old Norse villr, Gothic wiltheis

ˈwildish adj ˈwildly adv ˈwildness n

Wild /waɪld/ n
  1. Jonathan. ?1682–1725, British criminal, who organized a network of thieves, highwaymen, etc, while also working as an informer: said to have sent over a hundred men to the gallows before being hanged himself

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