- a financial deficit; business loss.
- the condition of showing a business loss.
Origin of red ink
An Americanism dating back to 1925–30
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for red ink
The place where young Lee missed your head with the red-ink bottle.The Right Stuff
Put up a map of the Midlands, with a red-ink line round every affiliated dept.The War-Workers
Whereupon the lady secretary put a red-ink cross before Harmony's name.The Street of Seven Stars
Mary Roberts Rinehart
One kind was a red-ink seal, made with a hand stamp; the other a seal on blue paper, to be fastened on the article.The Story of American History
Albert F. Blaisdell
Enough for Willem and me to buy all the red-ink lemonade and popcorn and peanuts and candy we can eat.The Return of Peter Grimm
Word Origin and History for red ink
"financial losses," 1929, from the red ink traditionally used to indicate debits in accounts.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper