Definition: Red

From New World Encyclopedia


From Middle English red, from Old English rēad, from Proto-West Germanic *raud, from Proto-Germanic *raudaz, from Proto-Indo-European *h₁rowdʰós, from the root *h₁rewdʰ-.

Cognate with West Frisian read, Low German root, rod, Dutch rood, German rot, Danish and Norwegian Bokmål rød, Norwegian Nynorsk raud; also Welsh rhudd, Latin ruber, rufus, Tocharian A rtär, Tocharian B ratre, Ancient Greek ἐρυθρός or eruthrós), Albanian pruth (redhead), Russian ру́дый or rúdyj (red, redhaired). Czech rudý, Lithuanian raúdas, Serbo-Croatian riđ (reddish, red), Sanskrit रुधिर or rudhirá (red, bloody).


red (comparative redder or more red, superlative reddest or most red)

  1. Having red (noun) as its color.
    The girl wore a red skirt.
  2. (of hair) Having an orange-brown or orange-blond color; ginger.
    Her hair had red highlights.
  3. (of the skin) With a red hue due to embarrassment or sunburn.
  4. (of a dog or its coat) Having a brown color.
  5. (card games, of a card) Of the hearts or diamonds suits. Compare black (of the spades or clubs suits)
    I got two red queens, and he got one of the black queens.
  6. (politics, often capitalized) Supportive of, related to, or dominated by a political party or movement represented by the color red:
    1. Left-wing parties and movements, chiefly socialist or communist, including the U.K. Labour party and the Social Democratic Party of Germany.
      The red-black grand coalition in Germany.
    2. (US politics) The U.S. Republican Party.
      I used to live in a red state.
  7. (astronomy) Of the lower-frequency region of the (typically visible) part of the electromagnetic spectrum which is relevant in the specific observation.
  8. (particle physics) Having a color charge of red.

Derived terms

  • blood-red
  • blue-red
  • cherry-red
  • code red
  • dark red
  • infra-red
  • red alert
  • red ant
  • red ash
  • red band
  • red bean
  • red beet
  • redbird
  • red blood cell
  • red book
  • redbud
  • red carpet
  • red cedar
  • redcoat
  • Red Cross
  • red currant
  • redden
  • reddish
  • red dwarf
  • red elm
  • redeye
  • red flag
  • red fox
  • red giant
  • red grape
  • red hair
  • redhead
  • redheaded
  • red herring
  • red leaf
  • red-letter
  • red light
  • red meat
  • red nightshade
  • red noise
  • red oak
  • red onion
  • red pepper
  • red pine
  • red planet
  • red poppy
  • red ribbon
  • red sauce
  • red scare
  • Red Sea
  • red snapper
  • red sorrel
  • red spruce
  • red squirrel
  • red state
  • red supergiant
  • red tape
  • red tea
  • red tide
  • red velvet
  • red velvet cake
  • redwing
  • red-winged blackbird
  • red wolf
  • redwood
  • ruby red
  • yellow-red


red (countable and uncountable, plural reds)

  1. Any of a range of colors having the longest wavelengths, 670 nm, of the visible spectrum; a primary additive color for transmitted light: the color obtained by subtracting green and blue from white light using magenta and yellow filters; the color of blood, ripe strawberries, etc.
    Red can be seen as hot or angry.
  2. A revolutionary socialist or (most commonly) a Communist; (usually capitalized) a Bolshevik, a supporter of the Bolsheviks in the Russian Civil War.
  3. (snooker) One of the 15 red balls used in snooker, distinguished from the colors.
  4. Red wine.
  5. Any of several varieties of ale which are brewed with red or kilned malt, giving the beer a red color.
  6. (particle physics) One of the three color charges for quarks.

Derived terms

  • beet red
  • blood red
  • cherry red
  • wine red


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