Share this entry

Share this page

red

Line breaks: red
Pronunciation: /rɛd
 
/

Definition of red in English:

adjective (redder, reddest)

1Of a colour at the end of the spectrum next to orange and opposite violet, as of blood, fire, or rubies: her red lips the sky was turning red outside
More example sentences
  • Dark red blood spilled from her arm and gathered in a pool on the ground.
  • The dark red blood forms a glaring contrast to the sickly green of the flesh.
  • He opened his mouth slightly trying to say something, but he only coughed out more dark red blood.
Synonyms
scarlet, vermilion, ruby, ruby-red, ruby-coloured, cherry, cherry-red, cerise, cardinal, carmine, wine, wine-red, wine-coloured, claret, claret-red, claret-coloured, blood-red;
flame, flaming, coral, cochineal, rose, rosy;
brick-red, maroon, rusty, foxy, rufous;
literary damask, vermeil
Heraldry sanguine, gules
rare rufescent
1.1(Of a person or their face) flushed or rosy, especially with embarrassment, anger, or heat: there were some red faces in headquarters he went bright red
More example sentences
  • Oshino's face was red with anger and embarrassment and he stormed off angrily.
  • His body was shaking and his own face was red in anger and shame.
  • The man's face was red from anger and he was about to carry on his yelling fit, but Ali began a coughing fit.
Synonyms
1.2(Of a person’s eyes) bloodshot or having pink rims, especially with tiredness or crying: her eyes were red and swollen
More example sentences
  • His eyes were red and bloodshot and he looked worn and tattered with emotion.
  • Jasmine, whose eyes were red and puffy and bloodshot, stood up, wiping her nose with the tissue in her hand.
  • Rosalie had her hair was in a long single messy braid, and her eyes were red and bloodshot.
Synonyms
bloodshot, red-rimmed, inflamed;
swollen, sore
1.3(Of hair or fur) of a reddish-brown or orange-brown colour: her long, red hair his hair was red
More example sentences
  • Up close he could see she was quite pretty with flaming red hair and reddish brown eyes.
  • A tall punk with flaming red hair had his arm slung tightly around her waist in a possessive manner.
  • She spotted a woman with flaming red hair walking slightly in front of her.
Synonyms
reddish, flaming red, flame-coloured, auburn, Titian, chestnut, carroty, ginger, sandy, foxy
1.4 dated , offensive (Of a people) having reddish skin.
1.5Of or denoting the suits hearts and diamonds in a pack of cards: a red queen
More example sentences
  • Each card is from a red suit but we do not know this: each of us sees only the suit of his own card.
  • By agreement, if the card turned up to start the discard pile happens to be a wild card or a red three, it may be put back into the stock pile and another card turned up.
  • If the card is red, the next player to the left turns over their card.
1.6(Of wine) made from dark grapes and coloured by their skins: a glass of red wine
More example sentences
  • These three grape varieties produce red wines which go lighter with age.
  • As well as being the source of red Burgundy wines, it is also a backbone of Champagne blends.
  • The principal grape used in the red wines of this region is Syrah.
1.7Denoting a red light or flag used as a signal to stop.
Example sentences
  • A red signal stops action, and green alerts the player that the coach needs his or her attention.
  • But drivers also fail to stop at red signals because they have misread a signal, or chosen to disregard it.
  • This system automatically stops the train if it passes through a red signal.
1.8Used to denote something forbidden, dangerous, or urgent: the force went on red alert
More example sentences
  • A fifth of Essex's roads have been given a red alert and are in urgent need of repair.
  • Britain's countryside was placed on red alert yesterday as both city and rural dwellers were told to keep away from farmland.
  • A senior Government vet says North Yorkshire should be on red alert to prevent an explosion of foot and mouth in the pig farming community.
1.9(Of a ski run) of the second-highest level of difficulty, as indicated by red markers positioned along it.
1.10 Physics Denoting one of three colours of quark.
2 (Red) informal , chiefly derogatory Communist or socialist (used especially during the Cold War with reference to the Soviet Union): the era of nuclear anxiety, the red scare and covert CIA plots
3 archaic or literary Involving bloodshed or violence: red battle stamps his foot and nations feel the shock
4 (also red-blanket) South African (Of a Xhosa) coming from a traditional tribal culture: a red Xhosa wife spends several years in her mother-in-law’s homestead Contrasted with school1.
[with reference to the blankets traditionally worn by the Xhosa people]

noun

Back to top  
1 [mass noun] Red colour or pigment: their work is marked in red by the teacher
More example sentences
  • In the image, however, the shortest wavelengths are represented as blue, while the longest are coloured in red.
  • Presumably this is to encourage us to stop ignoring any bill not coloured in red.
  • Come here at sunset, when the colours flame in red and orange, bold and beautiful.
1.1Red clothes or material: she could not wear red
More example sentences
  • Their daughter, Molly, wore a white dress and all her bridesmaids wore red.
  • The voice belonged to a young woman dressed in bright red, a white scarf around her head, a bowl of water in her hands.
  • To note one example, when a mother comes to understand her son better near the end of the film, she is wearing red.
2A red thing, in particular:
Example sentences
  • A sunny, dry season had growers excited for that year's reds.
  • Mendoza is the most important region, particularly for reds.
  • There is usually some producer somewhere in the world deliberately fashioning light reds in this style to be consumed chilled.
2.1A red wine: good Italian reds at affordable prices [mass noun]: a bottle of red
More example sentences
  • Wine by the glass business is strong, too, he reports, and the bar offers eight white wines and seven reds.
  • The minute the mercury soars, red wines, especially big reds, start to turn volatile and taste soupy and mawkish.
  • All the great white wines are made from Chardonnay, all the great reds from Pinot Noir.
2.2A red ball in snooker or billiards.
Example sentences
  • Hunter led by four points when he found himself snookered on the last red.
  • Three reds remain but Hendry surprisingly concedes to leave his opponent just one frame from victory.
  • Wood gained four points from a snooker on the last red which left him ideally positioned for a clearance.
3 (also Red) informal , chiefly derogatory A communist or socialist.
Example sentences
  • Anton Denikin was a Russian general who fought for the Whites during Russia's civil war against the reds - Lenin's Bolsheviks.
  • Traditionally, spies revolt against Labour governments because they fear the party is made up of unpatriotic reds.
  • The fact is, fighting anarchists, reds and labor organizers played a very important part in developing modern forms of identification and police power.
Synonyms
4 (the red) The situation of owing money to a bank because one has spent more than is in one’s account: the company was £4 million in the red
[from the conventional use of red ink to indicate debt items]
More example sentences
  • Had the year ended in the red, any money in the bonus account would have been reinvested in the company.
  • Other Asian markets are also in the red, despite a strong finish on Wall Street Wednesday.
  • Escalating fuel costs and weakening demand have left it in the red since 1995.
Synonyms
overdrawn, in debt, in debit, in deficit, owing money, in arrears, showing a loss

Origin

Old English rēad, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch rood and German rot, from an Indo-European root shared by Latin rufus, ruber, Greek eruthros, and Sanskrit rudhira 'red'.

Phrases

better dead than red (or better red than dead)

1
A Cold War slogan claiming that the prospect of nuclear war was preferable to that of a communist society (or vice versa).
Example sentences
  • This was particularly true during the McCarthy era of the 1950s when anti-Communist hysteria - ‘better dead than red ‘- reached great heights, especially in Catholic circles.’
  • Ever notice how that kind of rhymes with ‘better dead than red?’
  • Having quite happily countenanced that MAD idea myself - better dead than red - I feel bound in conscience at least to give today's extremists the benefit of the doubt.

(as) red as a beetroot (North American beet)

2
(Of a person) red-faced, typically through embarrassment.
Example sentences
  • To my left, Mildew was red as a beetroot, and Trent looked like he was going to keel over at any second.
  • When I opened the door, his face was a red as a beetroot and I thought he was going to explode.
  • As soon as he saw me he grew red as a beet, and glared at me furiously.

red in tooth and claw

3
Involving savage or merciless conflict or competition: nature, red in tooth and claw
[from Tennyson's In Memoriam]
More example sentences
  • A well-functioning bench represents the ultimate triumph of the forces of civilizations over the rule of nature, red in tooth and claw.
  • We must celebrate the real world, the rough world, the natural human and human nature red in tooth and claw.
  • It is a war of each against all, nature red in tooth and claw.

the red planet

4
A name for Mars.

a red rag to a bull

5
An object, utterance, or act which is certain to provoke someone: the refusal to discuss the central issue was like a red rag to a bull
More example sentences
  • This makes the ‘knee jerk’ reaction to cancel his booking because he is a ‘racist’ all the more surprising and is a red rag to a bull for people who are concerned about censorship.
  • His abstention on the Iraq vote was really a red rag to a bull.
  • Like a red rag to a bull, the needlessly conceded goal sparked Dulwich back into life and the two-goal cushion was swiftly restored as James completed his hat trick.

reds under the bed

6
Used during the cold war with reference to the feared presence and influence of communist sympathizers.
Example sentences
  • The People's Republic of China - the communists, the reds under the bed - probably has more toll roads as a percentage of its network than anywhere else.
  • Harris though seems to be rooted in the political discourse of thirty years ago with his notion of reds under the bed controlling everything.

see red

7
informal Become very angry suddenly: the mere thought of Piers with Nicole made her see red
More example sentences
  • Why he was suddenly seeing red over the same man he'd been berating all week, he didn't know.
  • Protesters wore red to the rally to symbolise that the community was seeing red over the issue.
  • They are reading things like this and seeing red.
Synonyms
become very angry, become enraged, go into a rage, lose one's temper
British informal go spare, go crackers, do one's nut
North American informal flip one's wig, blow one's lid/stack
vulgar slang go apeshit

Derivatives

reddish

1
adjective
Example sentences
  • Up close he could see she was quite pretty with flaming red hair and reddish brown eyes.
  • Above the thick layer of clouds below us we could see the reddish skyline.
  • None of them have gone grey at all, some of them have reddish hair like mine.

reddy

2
adjective
Example sentences
  • So now I'm standing up to my shins in water that's being stained a sort of pungent reddy brown, and all around small fish and crabs are fighting one another to eat the eyes.
  • She has reddy brown extremely long hair usually tied in a plait and she has two dreadlocks behind each ear.
  • I don't know colours like maroon, Dude, what is maroon anyway, it's a reddy colour isn't it?

redly

3
adverb
Example sentences
  • The ships became shadows concealed by the blinding glare of the morning sun which had just broken redly over the horizon, like a smouldering glim, new fallen from the forge that gave it life.
  • Dae's eyes glowed redly up at him from its depths.
  • Let the clouds drift over the red sun, sinking in blood, and sleep in a cradle of ice and terror until the dawn breaks redly over the ocean.

redness

4
noun
Example sentences
  • I also experienced a lot of nagging joint pain, with some redness and swelling.
  • The skin is then examined and any redness or swellings are noted.
  • Normal reactions to a bite or sting are pain, swelling, and redness around the sting.

Definition of red in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?