a red rag to a bull

idiom
Updated on: 15 Nov 2017

Definition of a red rag to a bull

British, informal
used of something that makes a person very angry
  • Just mentioning his poor marks to him was like a red rag to a bull.

Word by Word Definitions

red play
  1. : of the color red

  2. : having red as a distinguishing color

  3. : flushed especially with anger or embarrassment

  1. : a color whose hue resembles that of blood or of the ruby or is that of the long-wave extreme of the visible spectrum

  2. : red clothing

  3. : one that is of a red or reddish color: such as

rag play
  1. : a waste piece of cloth

  2. : clothes usually in poor or ragged condition

  3. : clothing

  1. : any of various hard rocks

  2. : a large roofing slate that is rough on one side

  1. : to rail at : scold

  2. : torment, tease

  1. : an outburst of boisterous fun

  1. : a composition in ragtime

bull play
  1. : a male bovine

  2. : a usually adult male of various large animals (such as elephants, whales, or seals)

  3. : one who buys securities or commodities in expectation of a price rise or who acts to effect such a rise — compare bear

  1. : of or relating to a bull

  2. : male

  3. : suggestive of a bull

  1. : to advance forcefully

  2. : to act on with violence

  3. : force

  1. : a solemn papal letter sealed with a bulla or with a red-ink imprint of the device on the bulla

  2. : edict, decree

  1. : to fool especially by fast boastful talk

  2. : to engage in idle and boastful talk

  1. : a grotesque blunder in language

  2. : empty boastful talk

  3. : nonsense


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