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in the red

This page is about the idiom in the red


If a person or a company is in the red, their debts are greater than their assets.

For example

  • Even if we make a profit this year, we owe so much money that we'll probably still be in the red.

  • I don't like being in the red, so I don't borrow money.

This comes from the practice in accounting of using red ink to make entries into a "debits" column.

Quick Quiz

If someone is in the red they

a. are owed money

b. owe money

c. have been owed money
a) are owed money b) owe money c) have been owed money

See Idiom of the Day today

Contributor: Matt Errey

Nobody has the right to obey.'