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redshirt

[red-shurt]
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noun
    1. a high-school or college athlete kept out of varsity competition for one year to develop skills and extend eligibility.
    2. a child held back from starting kindergarten for one year, the practice of which is believed by some parents to give the child academic, athletic, and social advantages.
  1. a character in a TV show or movie who dies soon after being first introduced: She's a redshirt who won’t make it to the next scene.
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verb (used with object)
    1. to withdraw (an athlete) from varsity competition for one year.
    2. to delay (a child) from starting kindergarten for one year: They redshirt their kids because they think it gives them a competitive edge.
  1. to quickly kill off (a character) in a TV show or movie: That guard is totally going to be redshirted in the next five minutes.
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verb (used without object)
    1. (of an athlete) to withdraw from varsity competition for one year: He redshirted in 2010, only to come back faster and stronger the following season.
    2. to delay a child from starting kindergarten for one year: Would you redshirt if your kid’s preschool teacher recommended it?
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Origin of redshirt

1950–55, Americanism; def 1 from the red shirts worn in practice by such athletes; def 2 in reference to the original Star Trek series (1966–69) in which characters in red shirts, usually security personnel or engineers, were often killed off as a plot device
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Word Origin and History for redshirt

v.

"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.).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper