red rag

See synonyms for red rag on Thesaurus.com
noun
  1. something that arouses anger; a provocation; red flag: A mere mention of the incident is a red rag to him.

Origin of red rag

1
First recorded in 1690–1700

Words Nearby red rag

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use red rag in a sentence

  • Just now the very mention of the highgrader's name was a red rag to his temper.

    The Highgrader | William MacLeod Raine
  • Johannesburg was still a red rag to the Government, and I would be sure to meet with a rebuff.

    A Woman's Part in a Revolution | Natalie Harris Hammond
  • In temperament a fanatic, in impulse a born revolutionist, the word conservatism was to him as a red rag to a bull.

    The Clansman | Thomas Dixon
  • At each charge the matador bounds aside, and the beast worries the red rag.

    The Story of Seville | Walter M. Gallichan
  • A strong mind, whether in man or woman, has always been to the clergy as a red rag to a bull.

    Men, Women, and Gods | Helen H. Gardener

British Dictionary definitions for red rag

red rag

noun
  1. a provocation; something that infuriates

Origin of red rag

1
so called because red objects supposedly infuriate bulls

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