red tape

noun

Definition of red tape

  1. :  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.

Origin and Etymology of red tape

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


First Known Use: 1736


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

  1. :  rules and regulations that seem unnecessary and prevent things from being done quickly and easily <governmental red tape>


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