Definition of red herring in English:

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red herring

Pronunciation: /ˈˌred ˈheriNG/


1A dried smoked herring, which is turned red by the smoke.
Example sentences
  • In the next few decades these kippers almost completely took over the market from the old salty red herrings.
  • Many a person has gone away smiling after eating one of Kipperman's red herring, bloaters or kippers.
2Something, especially a clue, that is or is intended to be misleading or distracting: the book is fast-paced, exciting, and full of red herrings
So named from the practice of using the scent of red herring in training hounds
More example sentences
  • Often they're false clues, red herrings.
  • Most of the film is spent working very hard to build suspense and distract the audience with red herrings that stop being effective early on.
  • It is a quest for the truth that drops vital clues and red herrings along the way.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: red her·ring

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