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The Collaborative International Dictionary


Red \Red\, a. [Compar. Redder (-d?r); superl. Reddest.] [OE. red, reed, AS. re['a]d, re['o]d; akin to OS. r[=o]d, OFries. r[=a]d, D. rood, G. roht, rot, OHG. r[=o]t, Dan. & Sw. r["o]d, Icel. rau[eth]r, rj[=o][eth]r, Goth. r['a]uds, W. rhudd, Armor. ruz, Ir. & Gael. ruadh, L. ruber, rufus, Gr. 'eryqro`s, Skr. rudhira, rohita; cf. L. rutilus. [root]113. Cf. Erysipelas, Rouge, Rubric, Ruby, Ruddy, Russet, Rust.] Of the color of blood, or of a tint resembling that color; of the hue of that part of the rainbow, or of the solar spectrum, which is furthest from the violet part. ``Fresh flowers, white and reede.'' --Chaucer. Your color, I warrant you, is as red as any rose. --Shak. Note: Red is a general term, including many different shades or hues, as scarlet, crimson, vermilion, orange red, and the like. Note: Red is often used in the formation of self-explaining compounds; as, red-breasted, red-cheeked, red-faced, red-haired, red-headed, red-skinned, red-tailed, red-topped, red-whiskered, red-coasted. Red admiral (Zo["o]l.), a beautiful butterfly ( Vanessa Atalanta) common in both Europe and America. The front wings are crossed by a broad orange red band. The larva feeds on nettles. Called also Atalanta butterfly, and nettle butterfly. Red ant. (Zo["o]l.)

  1. A very small ant ( Myrmica molesta) which often infests houses.

  2. A larger reddish ant ( Formica sanguinea), native of Europe and America. It is one of the slave-making species. Red antimony (Min.), kermesite. See Kermes mineral (b), under Kermes. Red ash (Bot.), an American tree ( Fraxinus pubescens), smaller than the white ash, and less valuable for timber. --Cray. Red bass. (Zo["o]l.) See Redfish (d) . Red bay (Bot.), a tree ( Persea Caroliniensis) having the heartwood red, found in swamps in the Southern United States. Red beard (Zo["o]l.), a bright red sponge ( Microciona prolifera), common on oyster shells and stones. [Local, U.S.] Red birch (Bot.), a species of birch ( Betula nigra) having reddish brown bark, and compact, light-colored wood. --Gray. Red blindness. (Med.) See Daltonism. Red book, a book containing the names of all the persons in the service of the state. [Eng.] Red book of the Exchequer, an ancient record in which are registered the names of all that held lands per baroniam in the time of Henry II. --Brande & C. Red brass, an alloy containing eight parts of copper and three of zinc. Red bug. (Zo["o]l.)

    1. A very small mite which in Florida attacks man, and produces great irritation by its bites.

    2. A red hemipterous insect of the genus Pyrrhocoris, especially the European species ( Pyrrhocoris apterus), which is bright scarlet and lives in clusters on tree trunks.

  3. See Cotton stainder, under Cotton. Red cedar. (Bot.) An evergreen North American tree ( Juniperus Virginiana) having a fragrant red-colored heartwood. (b) A tree of India and Australia ( Cedrela Toona) having fragrant reddish wood; -- called also toon tree in India. Red chalk. See under Chalk. Red copper (Min.), red oxide of copper; cuprite. Red coral (Zo["o]l.), the precious coral ( Corallium rubrum). See Illusts. of Coral and Gorgonlacea. Red cross. The cross of St. George, the national emblem of the English. (b) The Geneva cross. See Geneva convention, and Geneva cross, under Geneva. Red currant. (Bot.) See Currant. Red deer. (Zo["o]l.)

    1. The common stag ( Cervus elaphus), native of the forests of the temperate parts of Europe and Asia. It is very similar to the American elk, or wapiti.

    2. The Virginia deer. See Deer. Red duck (Zo["o]l.), a European reddish brown duck ( Fuligula nyroca); -- called also ferruginous duck. Red ebony. (Bot.) See Grenadillo. Red empress (Zo["o]l.), a butterfly. See Tortoise shell. Red fir (Bot.), a coniferous tree ( Pseudotsuga Douglasii) found from British Columbia to Texas, and highly valued for its durable timber. The name is sometimes given to other coniferous trees, as the Norway spruce and the American Abies magnifica and Abies nobilis. Red fire. (Pyrotech.) See Blue fire, under Fire. Red flag. See under Flag. Red fox (Zo["o]l.), the common American fox ( Vulpes fulvus), which is usually reddish in color. Red grouse (Zo["o]l.), the Scotch grouse, or ptarmigan. See under Ptarmigan. Red gum, or Red gum-tree (Bot.), a name given to eight Australian species of Eucalyptus ( Eucalyptus amygdalina, resinifera, etc.) which yield a reddish gum resin. See Eucalyptus. Red hand (Her.), a left hand appaum['e], fingers erect, borne on an escutcheon, being the mark of a baronet of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland; -- called also Badge of Ulster. Red herring, the common herring dried and smoked. Red horse. (Zo["o]l.)

      1. Any large American red fresh-water sucker, especially Moxostoma macrolepidotum and allied species.

      2. See the Note under Drumfish. Red lead. (Chem) See under Lead, and Minium. Red-lead ore. (Min.) Same as Crocoite. Red liquor (Dyeing), a solution consisting essentially of aluminium acetate, used as a mordant in the fixation of dyestuffs on vegetable fiber; -- so called because used originally for red dyestuffs. Called also red mordant. Red maggot (Zo["o]l.), the larva of the wheat midge. Red manganese. (Min.) Same as Rhodochrosite. Red man, one of the American Indians; -- so called from his color. Red maple (Bot.), a species of maple ( Acer rubrum). See Maple. Red mite. (Zo["o]l.) See Red spider, below. Red mulberry (Bot.), an American mulberry of a dark purple color ( Morus rubra). Red mullet (Zo["o]l.), the surmullet. See Mullet. Red ocher (Min.), a soft earthy variety of hematite, of a reddish color. Red perch (Zo["o]l.), the rosefish. Red phosphorus. (Chem.) See under Phosphorus. Red pine (Bot.), an American species of pine ( Pinus resinosa); -- so named from its reddish bark. Red precipitate. See under Precipitate. Red Republican (European Politics), originally, one who maintained extreme republican doctrines in France, -- because a red liberty cap was the badge of the party; an extreme radical in social reform. [Cant] Red ribbon, the ribbon of the Order of the Bath in England. Red sanders. (Bot.) See Sanders. Red sandstone. (Geol.) See under Sandstone. Red scale (Zo["o]l.), a scale insect ( Aspidiotus aurantii) very injurious to the orange tree in California and Australia. Red silver (Min.), an ore of silver, of a ruby-red or reddish black color. It includes proustite, or light red silver, and pyrargyrite, or dark red silver. Red snapper (Zo["o]l.), a large fish ( Lutjanus aya syn. Lutjanus Blackfordii) abundant in the Gulf of Mexico and about the Florida reefs. Red snow, snow colored by a mocroscopic unicellular alga ( Protococcus nivalis) which produces large patches of scarlet on the snows of arctic or mountainous regions. Red softening (Med.) a form of cerebral softening in which the affected parts are red, -- a condition due either to infarction or inflammation. Red spider (Zo["o]l.), a very small web-spinning mite ( Tetranychus telarius) which infests, and often destroys, plants of various kinds, especially those cultivated in houses and conservatories. It feeds mostly on the under side of the leaves, and causes them to turn yellow and die. The adult insects are usually pale red. Called also red mite. Red squirrel (Zo["o]l.), the chickaree. Red tape,

        1. the tape used in public offices for tying up documents, etc. Hence,

        2. official formality and delay; excessive bureaucratic paperwork.

          Red underwing (Zo["o]l.), any species of noctuid moths belonging to Catacola and allied genera. The numerous species are mostly large and handsomely colored. The under wings are commonly banded with bright red or orange.

          Red water, a disease in cattle, so called from an appearance like blood in the urine.



  1. adj. having any of numerous bright or strong colors reminiscent of the color of blood or cherries or tomatoes or rubies [syn: reddish, ruddy, blood-red, carmine, cerise, cherry, cherry-red, crimson, ruby, ruby-red, scarlet]

  2. characterized by violence or bloodshed; "writes of crimson deeds and barbaric days"- Andrea Parke; "fann'd by Conquest's crimson wing"- Thomas Gray; "convulsed with red rage"- Hudson Strode [syn: crimson, violent]

  3. (especially of the face) reddened or suffused with or as if with blood from emotion or exertion; "crimson with fury"; "turned red from exertion"; "with puffy reddened eyes"; "red-faced and violent"; "flushed (or crimson) with embarrassment" [syn: crimson, reddened, red-faced, flushed]

  4. red with or characterized by blood; "waving our red weapons o'er our heads"- Shakespeare; "The Red Badge of Courage"; "the red rules of tooth and claw"- P.B.Sears

  5. [also: redding, redded, reddest, redder]


  1. n. the quality or state of the chromatic color resembling the hue of blood [syn: redness]

  2. a tributary of the Mississippi River that flows eastward from Texas along the southern boundary of Oklahoma and through Louisiana [syn: Red River]

  3. emotionally charged terms used to refer to extreme radicals or revolutionaries [syn: Bolshevik, Marxist, pinko, bolshie]

  4. the amount by which the cost of a business exceeds its revenue; "the company operated at a loss last year"; "the company operated in the red last year" [syn: loss, red ink] [ant: gain]

  5. [also: redding, redded, reddest, redder]


See red

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary


"one who sets or puts in order," especially "one who tries to settle a quarrel," mid-15c., Scottish, agent noun from redd (v.).



a. (en-comparativered)

Usage examples of "redder".

Of course the sailor brutes started jeering when the atheling shipped his oar, so Radgar arrived at the stern with his face redder than ever.

It had blown out some of the candles, and the room was darker, the light from the fire redder as it leaped over the upper walls and rafters.

No doubt blushing redder than an active volcano, Sal headed for his own tent.

Meantime her face was redder than his coat and her body was shaking, except for her feet, which seemed anchored to the hall runner with the weight of her idiocy.

The marsh was emerald, the green of the pines deep and rich, the budding maples redder than coral.

The pearls fell in among the rubies, rolling right and left, making the rubies look still redder by contrast with their snowy whiteness.