in the red

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in the red

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

*in the red

Fig. losing money. (*Typically: be ~; go [into] ~; as opposed to in the black.) State government has been operating in the red for five straight years. What with all those car repairs, we're going to be in the red this month.
See also: red

in the red

In debt, as in Joshua can't keep track of funds, so half the time his company is in the red. This expression alludes to the bookkeeping practice of marking debits in red ink and credits in black. It survives even in the age of computerized accounts. So does the antonym, in the black, for being financially solvent or out of debt, as in Bill was happy to say they were in the black. [Early 1900s]
See also: red

in the red

COMMON If a person or organization is in the red, they owe money to someone or to another organization. Banks are desperate to get your custom — even if you're in the red. The company was already in the red, owing more than three million pounds. Note: You can also say that you go into the red when you start to owe money to the bank. If you do go into the red, you get charged 30p for each transaction while you are overdrawn. The network faces the prospect of falling back into the red for the first time in five years. Note: You can also say that a person or organization gets out of the red, meaning that they stop owing money to someone. We're slowly climbing out of the red. Compare with in the black. Note: This expression comes from the practice in the past of using red ink to fill in entries on the debit side of a book of accounts.
See also: red

in the red

in debt, overdrawn, or losing money.
Red ink was traditionally used to indicate debit items and balances in accounts. Compare with in the black (at black).
See also: red

in the ˈred

(informal) in debt: At this time of year we are usually in the red. OPPOSITE: in the blackIn bank accounts, an amount that was owed used to be written in red figures, not black.
See also: red
References in periodicals archive ?
SOME may be somewhat surprised that a public service like a hospital can go into the red.
22% in interest if they go into the red with their bank's permission, the highest level since May 2000, according to financial information group Moneyfacts.
Earlier this week, the bank boasted it was slashing the penalties for customers who go into the red without permission.
Penalties of pounds 20 to pounds 30 are the norm for customers who exceed their authorised limits and go into the red, the consumer group found.
Men are prepared to go into the red, and women to forego new clothes, to ensure their once-a-year overseas break, the survey from tour operator First Choice found.
The suds of choice go into the red funnel at the top, drain down some PVC tubing and then empty, in theory, into the gaping mouths of those who insist on having their liquid hops and barley as quickly down their esophagus as possible.
When they go into the red, the average overdraft is pounds 224.
One in five parents said they were willing to go into the red to help their children or were considering taking out a personal loan.
There is a wide variety of charges imposed on bank customers whose accounts go into the red.
1 per cent to people who go into the red, the highest level since the Bank of England began keeping records in 1995.
NEARLY half of all shoppers plan to go into the red to pay for Christmas, a survey revealed yesterday.
Scotsmen are almost twice as likely as women to go into the red on holiday, according to the study by Cheapholidaydeals.
They made a fiscally responsible decision to not go into the red to produce this concert.
Lloyds TSB has promised that customers who go into the red without permission will pay less after introducing new fees.
9 per cent for an agreed loan and Barclays will sting you up to pounds 75 a month in extra charges if you accidentally go into the red without agreeing your borrowing.