American English

Definition of red tape noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary

 

red tape

 noun
noun
 
[uncountable] (disapproving)
 
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official rules that seem more complicated than necessary and prevent things from being done quickly bureaucratic red tape You have to go through endless red tape to get a residence permit. From the custom of tying up official documents with red or pink tape.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: red tape