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 : a herring cured by salting and slow smoking to a dark brown color
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
The argument is a red herring. It actually has nothing to do with the issue.
The plot of the mystery was full of red herrings.
First Known Use of red herring
Seen and Heard
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