Redshirt definition

rĕdshûrt
(fiction, science fiction) An unimportant character introduced only to be killed in order to underscore the peril to the important characters; an expendable character.

Sensing danger, Captain Kirk decided to beam down to the surface with Spock, McCoy, and a couple of redshirts.

noun
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A college athlete who is allowed to practice with the varsity team but is kept out of competition for one year in order to extend the athlete's period of eligibility.
noun
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(US, collegiate sports) An athlete who spends a year not participating in official athletic activities, but does not lose his or her eligibility to participate in following years.
noun
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To make (a student) a redshirt.
verb
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To withdraw (a player) from a varsity team for a year so that the player will be eligible for athletics an extra year later.
verb
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(US, collegiate sports) To place an athlete in a status wherein the athlete will spend a year not participating in official athletic activities, but will not lose his or her eligibility to participate in following years.

The university decided to redshirt the freshman linebacker to give him an extra year to build up his bulk.

verb
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(US) To hold a child out of kindergarten for one year in the hope that the child will do better academically and socially.

Parents who redshirt their 5-year-olds instead of enrolling them in kindergarten are a concern to some Nebraska educators who are trying to reverse the trend of holding children back until age 6 to start school. "”"Some Educators Oppose Redshirting 5-Year-Olds," The Omaha World-Herald, March 1, 1985

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(US navy) A person responsible for loading and unloading weapons, artillery, and equipment from aircraft.
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Such a player.
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Other Word Forms

Noun

Singular:
redshirt
Plural:
redshirts

Origin of redshirt

  • From the red jerseys worn by such athletes to distinguish them from the regular players

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • red +"Ž shirt. Derived from the red jersey commonly worn by a player meeting this definition in practice scrimmages against the regulars.

    From Wiktionary

  • red +"Ž shirt. From the tendency of red-shirted ensigns in the original Star Trek television series to die prematurely.

    From Wiktionary

  • red +"Ž shirt. From the red shirts worn by such people when on duty

    From Wiktionary