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red tide

a brownish-red discoloration of marine waters caused by the presence of enormous numbers of certain microscopic flagellates, especially the dinoflagellates, that often produce a potent neurotoxin that accumulates in the tissues of shellfish, making them poisonous when eaten by humans and other vertebrates.
Origin of red tide
First recorded in 1900-05 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for red tide
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Were not his veins thrilling with the rich, red tide of youth?

    The Golden Woman Ridgwell Cullum
  • Despite herself, as she spoke the words a red tide dyed her face.

    The Man Bram Stoker
  • There was no red tide this time, nor ever again whilst the interview lasted.

    The Man Bram Stoker
  • He had told her that she talked like a woman in asking him to die rather than let the red tide flow on.

    The Countess of Charny Alexandre Dumas (pere)
  • But that was before the battle, before a red tide of broken men had flowed into the dressing station at the Calhoun house.

    Ride Proud, Rebel! Andre Alice Norton
  • But day by day, as the red tide rolled back, it swept into Richmond terrible fragments of the wreck it had made.

  • For the red tide of war swept over Athenry more than once, and left it but smoking ruins.

    The Charm of Ireland

    Burton Egbert Stevenson
  • The blood flowed in a rich, red tide through his veins, and he breathed the breath of morning like a youth.

    The Candidate Joseph Alexander Altsheler
  • The floating skulkers hover at the edge of the red tide of conflict.

    The Little Lady of Lagunitas Richard Henry Savage
British Dictionary definitions for red tide

red tide

a discoloration of sea water caused by an explosive growth in phytoplankton density: sometimes toxic to fish life and, through accumulation in shellfish, to humans
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
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red tide in Science
red tide  
A population explosion of certain species of dinoflagellates, a kind of protozoan found in plankton. The dinoflagellates color the water red or reddish-brown and secrete a toxin that kills fish. Red tide usually occurs in warm coastal waters.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Slang definitions & phrases for red tide

red tide


A woman's menstrual period: down with the red tide

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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