red tape

red tape


: a series of actions or complicated tasks that seem unnecessary but that a government or organization requires you to do in order to get or do something

Full Definition of RED TAPE

:  official routine or procedure marked by excessive complexity which results in delay or inaction

Examples of RED TAPE

  1. You would not believe the red tape involved in getting the required permits.

Origin of RED TAPE

from the red tape formerly used to bind legal documents in England
First Known Use: 1736


Next Word in the Dictionary: red–tapeism
Previous Word in the Dictionary: red tail snapper
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