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46 Meanings of Red Color

 , July 25, 2021 updated on March 16, 2023
Red is an unsettling color that is associated with fire, blood, danger and intensity. Due to its relative rarity in nature and association with intense elements such as fire and blood, it is an emotional color that attracts the attention but is difficult to look at for long. The following are common meanings of red color followed by a more detailed description of each.
Demons & Devils
Financial Loss
Good Fortune
Hot (Color Temperature)
Life Guards
Lipstick & Cosmetics
Married Women
National Flags
Problems (Reporting & Communication)
Social Status
Stop (Traffic Lights)
Valentines Day
It is common for fruits such as apples and strawberries to turn red when they are ripe. As such, the color is associated with ripeness and freshness.
Red is associated with aggression as in the idiomatic phrase "see red" which means to get angry. This term is thought to have originated in the 18th century as an analogy to the red cloth known as a muleta that is used in bull fighting. It is a common misconception that this is used to anger the bull but this is not the case as the bull is incited to charge by movement. Bulls are color blind to red and the color is simply traditional.
As red attracts attention it is widely used in marketing and advertising. This can be perceived as attention seeking. For example, users may be more cautious about clicking on red links as compared to blue links.
As a fashion color, red risks being brash and is often reserved for celebratory occasions or accessories such as ties.
Red is associated with autumn due to leaves such as maple leaves that turn red in this season.
As the color of blood and fire, blood feels inherently dangerous and bold.
As the color of stop in traffic lights and stop signs, red is often used to report and communicate issues, problems, hazards and risks. For example, the well known reporting convention known as rag status.
The idiomatic phrase red flag, meaning an issue, warning, risk or problem is an analogy to the use of actual red flags to denote danger. For example, the term was used as early as 1777 to denote red flags used as flood warnings.
As a remarkable and highly visible color, red is often used in celebrations. This has ancient origins. For example, Roman generals celebrated victories by coloring their bodies red. Red is associated with countless modern festivals, holidays, rituals and traditions of celebration.
In Japan, red is extensively used to symbolize women and femininity.
In East Asia, red is viewed as the color of good fortune. By extension it is also associated with all the fruits of good fortune such as wealth, health, fertility and happiness. For example, red envelops known as hongbao are traditionally used to give monetary gifts to children in China to mark celebrations such as the Lunar New Year.
Red is the most common color in the flags of nations with 109 countries having significant red in their flag and 38 countries with a mostly red flag.
The combination of red and green is heavily associated with Christmas. In fashion, this combination is thought to clash unless the Christmas symbolism is intended.
The current and historical iconography of communism is mostly red including red flags, red hammer & sickle and red star.
Red is associated with embarrassment due to the tendency of the face to blush red with this emotion. For example, the English phrase "red in the face" means to be embarrassed.
Red is associated with emergencies due to its use in things like fire trucks and police lights.
In some East Asian countries such as Japan and Korea there is a tradition of writing the names of the deceased in red as part of funeral rituals. As such, it is considered bad luck and taboo to write someone's name with red ink.
In many cultures, there is a tradition of marking school tests and assignments with red ink such that it is associated with incorrectness.
In accounting and finance, the term "in the red" is used to signify a debt or loss while "in the black" signifies a credit balance or profit. Historically, red ink was literally used by accountants for negative numbers. This convention is sometimes used to this day in the visual communication of financial figures.
Red is often used to symbolize a penalty or violation such as a red card in soccer.
Humans perceive red as hot to the touch due to its inherent association with elements of nature such as sun, fire and magma. This type of color perception is known as color temperature.
Red is a common color for formal military uniforms. Historically this was used on the battlefield but this was mostly abandoned in the 19th century.
Red is often used to symbolize romance. For example, it is symbolic of Valentines Day.
In the Indian subcontinent, red is traditionally worn by brides at their weddings and symbolizes married status for women.
Historically, red is symbolic of sacrifice and martyrdom. This continues to this day. For example, the tradition of using red poppies to commemorate WWI and WWII on Remembrance Day in Commonwealth member states.


This is the complete list of articles we have written about red.
Auburn Color
Bright Red
Burgundy Color
Candy Apple
Candy Red
Carmine Red
Cherry Red
Crimson Color
Dark Red
Deep Red
Japanese Red
Light Red
Medium Red
Orange Red
Persian Red
Red Things
Wine Color
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