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red herring

noun

Simple Definition of red herring

  • : something unimportant that is used to stop people from noticing or thinking about something important

Full Definition of red herring

  1. 1 :  a herring cured by salting and slow smoking to a dark brown color

  2. 2 [from the practice of drawing a red herring across a trail to confuse hunting dogs] :  something that distracts attention from the real issue

Examples of red herring

  1. The argument is a red herring. It actually has nothing to do with the issue.

  2. The plot of the mystery was full of red herrings.



15th Century

First Known Use of red herring

15th century


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