• Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • a Red-tape Pertaining to, or characterized by, official formality. See Red tape, under Red a.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • red-tape Pertaining to or characterized by official routine or formality. See red tape, under tape.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Red-tape red′-tāp the red tape used in public, and esp. government, offices for tying up documents, &c.: applied satirically to the intricate system of routine in vogue there: official formality
    • adj Red-tape pertaining to official formality
    • ***


  • James L. Hayes
    James L. Hayes
    “Endless meetings, sloppy communications and red tape steal the entrepreneur's time.”
  • J. Mccabe
    J. Mccabe
    “A bureaucrat is a person who cuts red tape sideways.”
  • Thomas Carlyle
    “Little other than a red tape Talking-machine, and unhappy Bag of Parliamentary Eloquence.”


Red tape - This is a negative term for the official paperwork and bureaucracy that we have to deal with.


In literature:

What is called "red tape" stood in the way of prompt action.
"Stories Of Georgia" by Joel Chandler Harris
That means I had gone through the red-tape routine.
"Bidwell's Travels, from Wall Street to London Prison" by Austin Biron Bidwell
We have already unraveled yards of red tape, and still there is no end.
"Trapped in 'Black Russia'" by Ruth Pierce
The "red-tape" curse prevailed everywhere.
"My Reminiscences of the Anglo-Boer War" by Ben Viljoen
If you make use of much "red tape" you will kill the undertaking at the outset.
"Amateur Gardencraft" by Eben E. Rexford
It smacked so strongly of miles of red tape and months of official delay.
"The Idler Magazine, Volume III., July 1893" by Various
In France, they complain of too much red tape in the police department.
"The Diamond Coterie" by Lawrence L. Lynch
A lot of detail, commonly called "red tape," had to be attended to before the prisoners were allowed to land.
"The Hero of Ticonderoga" by John de Morgan
It was too good a piece of rescue work to be strangled with Red Tape.
"Young Hilda at the Wars" by Arthur Gleason
If a man marries abroad there are many annoying bits of red tape to be considered.
"The Complete Bachelor" by Walter Germain
He chafed under red-tape and convention.
"Robert Toombs" by Pleasant A. Stovall
Securing a passport for a Middle's trip, not to speak of a Lower's, involved such endless bureaucratic red tape as to be nonsensical.
"Frigid Fracas" by Dallas McCord Reynolds
But the "red tape" men are inflexible and inscrutable.
"A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital" by John Beauchamp Jones
Otherwise it'll be strangled in red tape.
"Where I Wasn't Going" by Walt Richmond
She always was restive under red tape regulations.
"The Life and Work of Susan B. Anthony (Volume 2 of 2)" by Ida Husted Harper
It is always a good plan to save red tape by taking advantage of any existing associations that may be made to answer our need.
"The American Country Girl" by Martha Foote Crow
He had folded the chart, and was tying the red tape fastenings.
"Clover and Blue Grass" by Eliza Calvert Hall
Drivers called out 9 A. M. We policed the valley in the hot sun (a whim of red tape).
"An Artilleryman's Diary" by Jenkin Lloyd Jones
He could not stand inertly by, while others trifled with the red-tape of doctors' orders.
"Shadows of Flames" by Amelie Rives
There would have been quite time to catch it if the collector had not been so full of "red tape" notions.
"A Pair of Schoolgirls" by Angela Brazil

In poetry:

A was an elegant Ape
Who tied up his ears with red tape,
And wore a long veil
Half revealing his tail
Which was trimmed with jet bugles and crape.
"Billy's Alphabetical Animal Show" by James Whitcomb Riley

In news:

Expanded opportunities for women-owned businesses to receive government contracts can open doors – but not without piles of paperwork and miles of red tape .
Time for a Red Tape Rescue.
What's the Real Story Behind the Phrase 'Cutting Through the Red Tape .
Sordid Tales Of Sex, Lies And Red Tape .
Enhancing trade by cutting red tape .
Red tape is tying up forests.
Katrina survivors mired in taxes and red tape .
No OnLoan Red Tape for E&F.
Red tape choking R&D warns expert.
Posts Tagged 'government red tape .
Realities of regulatory red tape .
Why Can't We Make Red Tape a Thing of the Past.
Traversing the red tape .
VA Trims Red Tape for Veterans with PTSD.
Red Tape Is Stifling Job Creation.

In science:

We looked into the supercomputing facilities available through the university, but the idea of using a supercomputer didn’t appeal to us very much; the process seemed to involve a great deal of red tape, and we weren’t certain that we could justify time on a supercomputer in any case.
Computational Asteroseismology
For example, there exist international pressures to surround our open-access databases in a morass of legal red tape, and we are poorly prepared to resist them (Norris, 2005).
Astronomical Data Management