be in the red


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Related to be in the red: put a price on, hold the purse strings

be in the red

To be in debt. This phrase is often applied to businesses and refers to the traditional bookkeeping practice of writing outgoing funds in red ink (and incoming funds in black). We're back in the red because sales are way down this quarter. I have so many outstanding parking tickets that I'll be in the red if I pay them all off at once!
See also: red

be in the red

to owe money to a bank
Usage notes: Accountants (= people who keep records of money) often write amounts of money that are owed in red ink.
Many of the students were in the red at the end of their first year.
See also: red