the condition of having bloodshot eyes, as from eyestrain or lack of sleep.
Also red eye, redeye. Informal. a commercial airline flight between two distant points that departs late at night and arrives early in the morning.
an unwanted photographic effect in which a person's iris appears to be red: caused by the reflection of a flashbulb off the blood vessels of the retina.


Also redeye. Informal. of or indicating a long-distance flight that leaves late at night: the red-eye special from New York to Los Angeles.

Origin of red-eye

1965–70, for def 2 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for red-eye

Contemporary Examples of red-eye

Historical Examples of red-eye

  • But I do not withdraw what I said yesterday about its resemblance to the red-eye's and the solitary's.

    The Foot-path Way

    Bradford Torrey

  • Give us a sermon, parson, and you shall have a pint of red-eye!'

    City Crimes


  • "Anybody'd think you was full of red-eye, the way you act," muttered Red peevishly.

    Bar-20 Days

    Clarence E. Mulford

  • It was a vireo's nest; but it was too large, too downy, too yellow for Red-eye.

    Wild Life Near Home

    Dallas Lore Sharp

  • This X chromosome has also the factor for the development of red-eye pigment.

British Dictionary definitions for red-eye



  1. an aeroplane flight leaving late at night or arriving early in the morning
  2. (as modifier)a red-eye flight
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

Word Origin and History for red-eye

"airplane flight which deprives travelers of sleep," 1968, from the red eyes of sleeplessness; earlier as a noun meaning "raw and inferior whiskey" (1819, American English).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper