red herring


red herring
a) A smoke-cured and salt-brined herring strong enough to turn the flesh red; a type of kipper.

"Up in the morning, and had some red herrings to our breakfast, while my boot-heel was a-mending, by the same token the boy left the hole as big as it was before." ( diary entry of 28 February 1660)

b) A clue that is misleading or that has been falsified, intended to divert attention.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Red Herring — Pays  États Unis Langue Anglais Périodic …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Red herring — may refer to: * Red herring (narrative), a technique used in literature to mislead the audience * Kipper, a fish having been dried, smoked, and salted * Red Herring (magazine), a magazine focused on the new technology businesses * The Red Herring …   Wikipedia

  • red herring — red her·ring /ˌred her iŋ/ n [red herring something that distracts attention from the main issue, diversion]: a preliminary prospectus (as for the sale of securities) that is not yet approved by the appropriate body (as the Securities and… …   Law dictionary

  • red herring — n. 1) A smoked herring having a reddish color. 2) Something that draws attention away from the matter being discussed or dealt with. ╂ [Sense 2, probably from the use of smoked herrings to lay scent trails for hounds to follow.] Word History: A… …   Word Histories

  • Red herring — Red Red, a. [Compar. {Redder} ( d?r); superl. {Reddest}.] [OE. red, reed, AS. re[ a]d, re[ o]d; akin to OS. r[=o]d, OFries. r[=a]d, D. rood, G. roht, rot, OHG. r[=o]t, Dan. & Sw. r[ o]d, Icel. rau[eth]r, rj[=o][eth]r, Goth. r[ a]uds, W. rhudd,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Red Herring — bezeichnet: Red Herring (Redewendung), eine englische idiomatische Redewendung (dt. „Roter Hering“) Red Herring (Wirtschaft), einen vorläufigen Wertpapier Emissionsprospekt Red Herring (Magazin), ein internationales Business Magazin Marxistisch… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • red herring — smoked herring early 15c. (they turn red when cured), as opposed to white herring fresh herring. Supposedly used by fugitives to put bloodhounds off their scent (1680s), hence metaphoric sense (1864) of something used to divert attention from the …   Etymology dictionary

  • red herring — ► NOUN 1) a dried smoked herring. 2) a misleading clue or distraction. [ORIGIN: so named from the practice of using the scent of red herring in training hounds.] …   English terms dictionary

  • red herring — n. 1. a smoked herring 2. something used to divert attention from the basic issue: from the practice of drawing a herring across the trace in hunting, to distract the hounds 3. Finance [Informal] Finance Informal a preliminary prospectus, subject …   English World dictionary

  • red herring — red herrings N COUNT If you say that something is a red herring, you mean that it is not important and it takes your attention away from the main subject or problem you are considering. As Dr Smith left he said that the inquiry was something of a …   English dictionary

  • red herring — If something is a distraction from the real issues, it is a red herring …   The small dictionary of idiomes


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