Try Our Apps


WATCH "Lumbersexual"


[red-shurt] /ˈrɛdˌʃɜrt/
a high-school or college athlete kept out of varsity competition for one year to develop skills and extend eligibility.
verb (used with object)
to withdraw (an athlete) from varsity competition.
Origin of redshirt
1950-55, Americanism; from the red shirts worn in practice by such athletes Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for redshirt

"to withdraw (a player) from the varsity team to add a year to his or her eligibility," 1955, in reference to the red shirts worn by athletes on the scrimmage squad; from red (adj.1) + shirt (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for redshirt



  1. A student whose period of athletic eligibility has been extended
  2. An act of redshirting: Indiana forward Alan Henderson is recovering from knee surgery, so a medical redshirt is a possibility


  1. To extend a college student's period of athletic eligibility
  2. Various noncollege and nonsports instances of providing an extra year of eligibility: It is a capricious misuse of scarce resources when public schools provide redshirting, borrowing the term used in college athletics/ To get them eligibility for additional schooling: Under the redshirt plan, special education students could extend their high school program by at least one year

[1955+ Sports; fr the red shirts worn by such athletes in contrast with varsity players]

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

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for redshirt

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for redshirt

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for redshirt