red-handed

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With hands that are red.

Etymology:

  • From red + handed, likening to a murderer with their hands red with the victim's blood. The phrase to be taken with red hand originally meant "to be caught in the act". The use of red hand in this sense goes back to 15th-century Scotland and Scottish law. Sir Walter Scott's Ivanhoe contains the first recorded use of taken red-handed for someone apprehended in the act of committing a crime. The expression subsequently became more common as caught red-handed.
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The blisters had wept blood for a while, leaving him literally red-handed for the rest of the night.

Submitted on July 10, 2018

Additional definitions for 'red-handed':

red-handedIn the act of wrongdoing.
red-handedShowing clear evidence of guilt; in the act of wrongdoing.
red-handedDeadly, bloody.
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Nearby phrases

Some more phrases from our dictionary similar to red-handed

How to pronounce this phrase?

  1. Alex
    Alex
    US English
    Daniel
    Daniel
    British
    Karen
    Karen
    Australian
    Veena
    Veena
    Indian

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    "red-handed." Phrases.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 26 Nov. 2020. <https://www.phrases.com/phrase/red-handed_26380>.

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