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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

*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
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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