Red tape is defined as a lot of official forms and procedures that are involved before something is accomplished.
An example of red tape is when you have to fill out tons of annoying forms just to get a driver's license.
- official forms and routines
- too great attention to regulations and routine, resulting in delay in getting business done
Origin of red tapefrom the tape commonly used to tie official papers
The collection or sequence of forms and procedures required to gain bureaucratic approval for something, especially when oppressively complex and time-consuming.
Origin of red tapeFrom its former use in tying British official documents.
- Thought to allude to the former practice of binding government documents in red-coloured tape