20 English Idioms with Red

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The English language is rich with colorful expressions that paint our conversations with vivid imagery. Among these, red idioms stand out with their intensity and emotion, often used to convey passion, urgency, or danger.

This blog post explores 20 common red idioms, delving into their meanings and illustrating their use with concise examples. Whether you’re looking to spice up your language or understand these expressions better, these red idioms are sure to add some color to your linguistic palette.

Idioms with Red

1. A Red Eye

Meaning: A late-night or overnight flight.
Example: She booked a red eye to avoid the traffic during the day.

2. Red Handed

Meaning: To be caught in the act of doing something illicit.
Example: The kids were caught red handed while spray painting the school walls.

3. Red Tape

Meaning: Excessive bureaucracy or adherence to rules and formalities.
Example: We could have started the project months ago if not for all the red tape.

4. Paint the Town Red

Meaning: To go out and enjoy oneself flamboyantly.
Example: After the final exams, they went out to paint the town red.

5. Red Carpet Treatment

Meaning: To treat someone with great respect or hospitality.
Example: On their visit, the guests received the red carpet treatment.

6. Red-Letter Day

Meaning: A day that is pleasantly noteworthy or memorable.
Example: Her graduation was a red-letter day for the whole family.

7. See Red

Meaning: To become very angry.
Example: He saw red when he discovered his car had been scratched.

8. Red Eye

Meaning: A flight taken during the night, resulting in red eyes from sleeplessness.
Example: She took the red eye to New York to make it to the meeting on time.

9. Red Flag

Meaning: A warning of danger or a problem.
Example: The auditor’s report raised several red flags that required immediate attention.

10. Red Hot

Meaning: Something that is extremely hot or popular.
Example: Their new single is red hot in the charts this week.

11. Caught Red-Handed

Meaning: To catch someone in the act of doing something wrong.
Example: He was caught red-handed stealing chocolates from the store.

12. Red-Faced

Meaning: To become embarrassed or ashamed.
Example: She was red-faced when she realized she had forgotten the words to her song.

13. Roll Out the Red Carpet

Meaning: To greet someone with great respect or pomp.
Example: The hotel rolled out the red carpet for the visiting dignitaries.

14. Like a Red Rag to a Bull

Meaning: Something that is bound to cause anger or annoyance.
Example: Mentioning politics at dinner was like a red rag to a bull.

15. In the Red

Meaning: Describing a financial loss or debt.
Example: The company has been in the red since the decline in sales last quarter.

16. Red Herring

Meaning: Something misleading or a distraction from the relevant issue.
Example: The detective realized the clue was a red herring that diverted the investigation from the real culprit.

17. Red as a Beetroot

Meaning: Extremely embarrassed.
Example: After tripping on stage, he was as red as a beetroot.

18. Red Blooded

Meaning: Showing or characterized by strong emotions or instincts.
Example: He’s a red-blooded competitor who loves to win.

19. To Put on the Red Light

Meaning: To stop or bring to a halt.
Example: They had to put on the red light on the project after the funding was cut.

20. Red Tape

Meaning: Excessive formalities and bureaucracy, especially in governmental process.
Example: Obtaining a building permit involved too much red tape.

English Idioms with Red


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