red herring noun
: something unimportant that is used to stop people from noticing or thinking about something important
: a herring cured by salting and slow smoking to a dark brown color
[from the practice of drawing a red herring across a trail to confuse hunting dogs] : something that distracts attention from the real issue
Examples of RED HERRING
- The argument is a red herring. It actually has nothing to do with the issue.
- The plot of the mystery was full of red herrings.
First Known Use of RED HERRING
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