\ ˈred-ˈlīt How to pronounce red-light (audio) \

Definition of red-light

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: having numerous houses of prostitution a red-light district

red light


Definition of red light (Entry 2 of 2)

: a warning signal especially : a red traffic signal

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of red-light in a Sentence


the reporter took her glower as a red light and stopped asking questions

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The bus, which was transporting the driver and about 15 passengers, ran a red light at the intersection of Morell and Frankford Avenues shortly before 6 p.m. Thursday, hitting a Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ. Katherine Nails,, "Police ID man killed when SEPTA bus crashed into home, investigation continues," 6 July 2018 Dees ran a red light at 99th Avenue and Thomas in Glendale but crashed the car, officials said. Nathan J. Fish, azcentral, "Records: Man caught with slain couple's car said he got it from someone else," 22 June 2018 Ersatz-Herbie driver David Evans, 50, hasn’t bothered to accept challenges at red lights over the years. Spencer Jakab, WSJ, "Fan Homage to a Favored VW Has One Glaring Flaw: Speed," 6 May 2018 Law enforcement officers say that dealers there often drop baggies of drugs into the open passenger windows of cars stopped at red lights. Katharine Q. Seelye Photographs By Todd Heisler, New York Times, "1 Son, 4 Overdoses, 6 Hours," 21 Jan. 2018 Law enforcement officers say that dealers there often drop baggies of drugs into the open passenger windows of cars stopped at red lights. Anchorage Daily News, "1 son, 6 hours, 4 overdoses: A family’s relentless cycle," 21 Jan. 2018 The officer was driving eastbound on Gray near Chartres around 10:30 p.m., when either the officer or the driver of a white cargo van ran a red light, police said. Samantha Ketterer, Houston Chronicle, "Authorities investigating cause of crash involving HPD officer," 26 June 2018 City records show the license plate on the car Ms. Bruns was driving was cited for 12 violations in the past two years, including four for failing to stop at a red light and four for speeding in a school zone. Zolan Kanno-youngs, WSJ, "Driver Charged in Deadly Brooklyn Crash Kills Herself," 7 Nov. 2018 Bryant was driving in Newport Beach and reportedly saw a car run a red light and crash into a Tesla, according to TMZ. Ryan Gaydos, Fox News, "NBA legend Kobe Bryant seen helping drivers involved in car accident," 28 Sep. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'red-light.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of red-light


1900, in the meaning defined above


1849, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about red-light

Statistics for red-light

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for red-light

The first known use of red-light was in 1849

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for red-light



English Language Learners Definition of red-light

: having many prostitutes

More from Merriam-Webster on red-light

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with red-light

Comments on red-light

What made you want to look up red-light? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


highly pertinent or appropriate

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Time Traveler Quiz: Which Word Came First?

  • time traveler quiz which word came first
  • Which came first?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!