What does red herring mean?

Definitions for red herring
red her·ring

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word red herring.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. red herringnoun

    any diversion intended to distract attention from the main issue

  2. red herring, smoked herringnoun

    a dried and smoked herring having a reddish color

  3. preliminary prospectus, red herringnoun

    a first draft of a prospectus; must be clearly marked to indicate that parts may be changed in the final prospectus

    "because some portions of the cover page are printed in red ink a preliminary prospectus is sometimes called a red herring"


  1. red herringnoun

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

  2. red herringnoun

    A clue or information that is or is intended to be misleading, that diverts attention from a question.


  1. red herring

    A red herring is a misleading clue or a diversionary tactic intended to lead people away from an accurate or relevant conclusion or detective's trail. It's commonly used in literature, films, and mystery stories and can also refer to a irrelevant topic introduced in a discussion to divert attention from the original issue.

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How to pronounce red herring?

How to say red herring in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of red herring in Chaldean Numerology is: 7

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of red herring in Pythagorean Numerology is: 7

Examples of red herring in a Sentence

  1. Jakob Ragnwaldh:

    It’s a red herring that has been placed there on purpose by individuals and organizations who do not believe in free trade.

  2. Van Beurden:

    The divest campaign, or Keep it in the Ground or the carbon bubble, ignore reality that 80 percent of the investment in the industry has to be done just to stand still to arrest decline. It is a red herring, it is a very seductive argument and that is why it catches on, but it is a red herring.

  3. Howard Means:

    Terry Norman is in a sense the second gunman on the grassy knoll ... He's been kind of a handy bogeyman or a red herring.

  4. Morgan Wright:

    It’s a red herring and Senator Warner knows better, is it possible the Russians were able to target specific counties in key swing states days ahead of the election? That’s not very probable. We’re giving the Russians way too much credit that they’ve got all this capability.

  5. Gerald Hassell:

    Headcount can be a bit of a red herring in terms of analysis.

Translations for red herring

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • سمك الرنجه الاحمرArabic
  • uzený sleďCzech
  • rød sild, falsk sporDanish
  • auf dem Holzweg sein, Ablenkungsman, Ablenkung, Bückling, Nebelkerze, falsche FährteGerman
  • καπνιστή ρέγγα, εξαπάτησηGreek
  • cortina de humo, pista falsaSpanish
  • hämäys, savusilli, harhautusFinnish
  • hareng saur, diversion, hareng rouge, leurreFrench
  • रेड हेरिंगHindi
  • füstölt hering, félrevezető nyom, v, hamis nyom, félrevezetésHungarian
  • pengalih perhatianIndonesian
  • falsa pista, specchietto per le allodoleItalian
  • הרינג אדוםHebrew
  • おとりJapanese
  • სატყუარაGeorgian
  • 훈제 청어Korean
  • rubeum allecLatin
  • afleidingsmanoeuvre, vals spoor, gerookte haring, bokkingDutch
  • blindspor, feilspor, rød sildNorwegian
  • red HerringPolish
  • arenque vermelhoPortuguese
  • копчёная селёдка, ложный след, отвлекающий маневрRussian
  • falošná stopaSlovak
  • böcklingSwedish
  • kırmızı ringaTurkish
  • червоний оселедецьUkrainian
  • سرخ ہیرنگUrdu
  • רויט הערינגYiddish
  • 红鲱鱼Chinese

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"red herring." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 10 Dec. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/red+herring>.

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