red tape

noun
Updated on: 8 Nov 2017

Definition of red tape

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

Examples of red tape in a Sentence

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

Recent Examples of red tape from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of red tape

from the red tape formerly used to bind legal documents in England


RED TAPE Defined for English Language Learners

red tape

noun

Definition of red tape for English Language Learners

  • : 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


RED TAPE Defined for Kids

red tape

noun

Definition of red tape for Students

:rules and regulations that seem unnecessary and prevent things from being done quickly and easily
  • governmental red tape


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