Red herring

Definition

A red herring is a figurative phrase used to describe an argument or subject that is distracting from the real issue or problem.

ExamplesSentences

The candidate tried to divert attention away from the controversy by introducing a red herring.

The lawyer argued that the evidence was a red herring and not relevant to the case.

Origin

The origin of the phrase is unclear, but it is thought to have originated in the early 19th century and refers to the practice of using the strong scent of a smoked herring to divert hounds away from a trail.

FAQs

What is a red herring?

A red herring is a figurative phrase used to describe an argument or subject that is distracting from the real issue or problem.

Where does the phrase ‘red herring’ come from?

The origin of the phrase is unclear, but it is thought to have originated in the early 19th century and refers to the practice of using the strong scent of a smoked herring to divert hounds away from a trail.