in the red


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*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