paint the town red


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paint the town (red)

To go out into a city or town and have an enjoyable time, typically by visiting various establishments, such as bars, restaurants, clubs, etc. After our exams finished, we all decided to get dressed up and paint the town red. A: "I was thinking I might go to a museum or the library." B: "Wow, you're really going to paint the town red, huh?"
See also: paint, town
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

paint the town red

Go on a spree, as in Whenever they go to New York they want to paint the town red. The precise allusion of this term is disputed. Some believe it refers to setting something on fire; others point to a vague association of the color red with violence. [Late 1800s]
See also: paint, red, town
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.

paint the town red

If you paint the town red, you go out and enjoy yourself, often drinking alcohol and dancing. Don't you and the other sisters ever paint the town red? Preparing yourself to paint the town red on a Saturday night just doesn't have the same buzz without suitable music to get ready to. Note: This expression is said to have originated in the Wild West. It may have been used to describe groups of Native Americans setting fire to towns. Another possibility is that it referred to cowboys threatening to `paint the town red' with the blood of anyone who tried to stop their drunken behaviour.
See also: paint, red, town
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

paint the town red

go out and enjoy yourself flamboyantly. informal
See also: paint, red, town
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

paint the town ˈred

(informal) go to a lot of different bars, clubs, etc. and enjoy yourself: It was the end of term and students decided to go out and paint the town red.
See also: paint, red, town
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

paint the town (red)

tv. to go out and celebrate; to go on a drinking bout; to get drunk. They were out painting the town red last night.
See also: paint, red, town
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

paint the town red

Slang
To go on a spree.
See also: paint, red, town
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

paint the town red, to

To indulge in convivial carousing, making the rounds of bars, clubs, and similar places of entertainment. Originating in America in the late nineteenth century, the term appeared in the Boston Journal in 1884: “Whenever there was any excitement or anybody got particularly loud, they always said somebody was ‘painting the town red.’”
See also: paint, to, town
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
Elizabeth Moore, development specialist for northwest Arkansas' AHA office, said the first Paint the Town Red in June 2001 collected a net total of $7,516 and the January 2003 event netted $17,243: There was no event in 2002.
Simply collect FIVE of the six Paint the Town Red tokens appearing in the Echo every day this week.
The second half of the Jackass crew arrived for the premier of Jackass The Movie on Wednesday night and decided to paint the town red, amber and green.
VOLUNTEERS are needed to "paint the town red" in memory of a woman who died from Britain's rarest disease.
VOLUNTEERS are needed to help "paint the town red" in memory of a young woman who tragically died from Britain's rarest disease.
LIAM GALLAGHER has given up the party lifestyle, leaving big brother Noel to paint the town red alone.
THE caring, sharing Co-op will be helping to paint the town red next weekend to celebrate St David's Day.
MODELS Hazel O'Sullivan and Nadia Forde love nothing more than to paint the town red.
Among his team-mates set to paint the town red were Dirk Kuyt as Elvis and Jamie Carragher as Rhydian from X Factor.
PAINT the town red - and eat a bowl of scarlet spaghetti for charity!
Saturday night - scaring passers-by as I paint the town red. Sunday afternoon - waterproof tent for the kids.
She seemed determined to paint the town red which was quite apt as she was wearing a stunning crimson Dolce & Gabbana gown to the amfAR charity bash.
But we don't paint the town red every night and on average go out just 1.4 times a week - with women hitting the town and spending as much as the men.
ZAC Efron reckons he would rather go dancing with his grandma than paint the town red with Hollywood's glitterati.
'They normally go out in Cardiff together but she wanted to have a birthday to remember and really paint the town red.'