\ 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

Noun the reporter took her glower as a red light and stopped asking questions
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Itzel Lopez and her boyfriend were sitting at a red light on July 22 in Torrance, Calif. when a White couple stormed out of their pickup truck. Jaclyn Peiser, Washington Post, "A couple yelled ‘white power’ and gave a Nazi salute to a Black driver. They’re charged with a hate crime.," 3 Aug. 2020 When Lopez and her boyfriend approached a red light, the Howells drove in front of them. Minyvonne Burke, NBC News, "Couple who yelled 'white power' at Black man and his girlfriend arrested for hate crimes," 1 Aug. 2020 Each participant was given a small handheld flashlight that emitted a red light with a wavelength of 670 nanometers. Ryan Prior, CNN, "Declining eyesight can be improved by looking at red light, pilot study says," 30 June 2020 Aaryn said she and her boyfriend were stopped at a red light waiting to make a left turn when another vehicle pulled up in the right lane and began firing. Gabrielle Chung,, "Comedian Rickey Smiley's Daughter, 19, Says She's 'Okay' After Being Shot: 'I'm Happy to Be Alive'," 9 July 2020 This light also has two different CREE XP-E2 emitters that shine green and red light at a lower intensity (150 lumens for the green light and 200 lumens for the red). Tim Macwelch, Outdoor Life, "8 Survival Lights You Can Depend on in an Emergency," 2 July 2020 And a 2017 study of visible red light at the edge of infrared reported a 25% improvement in the functioning of retinas in mice. Ryan Prior, CNN, "Declining eyesight can be improved by looking at red light, pilot study says," 30 June 2020 That upheaval may change the red light district for good. Ciara Nugent, Time, "Why Amsterdam's Red Light District May Not Survive the Coronavirus Pandemic," 24 June 2020 Abdelsalam’s car ran a red light at East 59th Street and crashed into a car driving south through the intersection. Adam Ferrise, cleveland, "Man charged in drag-racing crash in Cleveland that killed man crossing busy street," 11 June 2020

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

Time Traveler for red-light

Time Traveler

The first known use of red-light was in 1849

See more words from the same year

Statistics for red-light

Cite this Entry

“Red-light.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Aug. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for red-light


How to pronounce red light (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of red-light

: having many prostitutes

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).


Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt painting a young scholar and his tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

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!