red tape
noun Etymology: from the red tape formerly used to bind legal documents in England Date: 1736 official routine or procedure marked by excessive complexity which results in delay or inaction

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Red tape — is a derisive term for excessive regulation or rigid conformity to formal rules that is considered redundant or bureaucratic and hinders or prevents action or decision making. It is usually applied to government, but can also be applied to other… …   Wikipedia

  • red tape — ˌred ˈtape noun [uncountable] official rules that seem complicated and unnecessary and prevent things from being done quickly and easily: • The only way to get this project off the ground is to cut through the red tape. • Planning permission is… …   Financial and business terms

  • Red tape — 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 tape — {n. phr.} Unnecessary bureaucratic routine; needless but official delays. * /If you want to get anything accomplished in a hurry, you have to find someone in power who can cut through all that red tape./ …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • red tape — {n. phr.} Unnecessary bureaucratic routine; needless but official delays. * /If you want to get anything accomplished in a hurry, you have to find someone in power who can cut through all that red tape./ …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • Red tape — Tape Tape, n. [AS. t[ae]ppe a fillet. Cf. {Tapestry}, {Tippet}.] 1. A narrow fillet or band of cotton or linen; a narrow woven fabric used for strings and the like; as, curtains tied with tape. [1913 Webster] 2. A tapeline; also, a metallic… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • red´tape´ — red tape, 1. tape having a red color, formerly used for tying up official papers. 2. too much attention to details and forms; bureaucratic routine: »A House Banking subcommittee assailed what it called the red tape and delays in the program to… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Red-tape — ( t?p ), a. Pertaining to, or characterized by, official formality. See {Red tape}, under {Red}, a. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • red tape — n [U] official rules that seem unnecessary and prevent things from being done quickly and easily ▪ a procedure surrounded by bureaucracy and red tape ▪ The new rules should help cut the red tape for farmers …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • red tape — index bureaucracy Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 red tape n. Excessive bureau …   Law dictionary

  • red tape — noun uncount documents, rules, or processes that cause delays: There s a lot of red tape to get through first …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

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