- Informal. to stop or deter by means of or as if with a red light.
Origin of red-light
First recorded in 1895–1900
- a red lamp, used as a traffic signal to mean “stop.”
- an order or directive to halt an action, project, etc.: There's a red light on all unnecessary expenses.
- a children's running game in which players must stop when “Red light!” is called.
- a signal of danger; warning.
Origin of red light
First recorded in 1840–50
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for red-light
Many Joycean academics agree that even after he met Nora and moved to Trieste, the red-light romps continued.Exploring the Darker Side of James Joyce’s Trieste
January 13, 2014
Police now acknowledge that the red-light district has mutated into a global hub for human trafficking and money laundering.Legal Prostitution is a Terrible Idea
February 19, 2013
“Scarlet Town,” a dark and hypnotic ballad, depicts a red-light district of the soul, with a hushed and craggy croon.The Rage in Bob Dylan's "Tempest"
September 3, 2012
A red-light camera program in Chicago reportedly brought in $69 million in 2010.
“Red-light and speed-safety cameras only generate revenue when drivers exceed the speed limit or run red lights,” Territo said.
It buys no votes and it makes no canvass in the red-light districts.Labor and Freedom
Eugene V. Debs
The "stockade" was famous among the red-light institutions of the country.Abroad at Home
You turn your red-light and hold everything that comes along.Danger Signals
John A. Hill and Jasper Ewing Brady
I would start in at once to elevate, purify, and depopulate the red-light district.Mark Twain's Speeches
Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
Vice required more alluring quarters than these for profitable pursuit of its red-light trade.The Easiest Way
Eugene Walter and Arthur Hornblow
- a signal to stop, esp a red traffic signal in a system of traffic lights
- a danger signal
- an instruction to stop or discontinue
- a red lamp in a window of or outside a house indicating that it is a brothel
- (as modifier)a red-light district
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012