Definition of a red rag to a bull in English:

a red rag to a bull

phrase

  • An object, utterance, or act which is certain to provoke someone:

    ‘the refusal to discuss the central issue was like a red rag to a bull’
    • ‘The subject of public sector pensions is like a red rag to a bull for those working in private industry.’
    • ‘This makes the ‘knee jerk’ reaction to cancel his booking because he is a ‘racist’ all the more surprising and is a red rag to a bull for people who are concerned about censorship.’
    • ‘His abstention on the Iraq vote was really a red rag to a bull.’
    • ‘That was like a red rag to a bull, so I learned off the rule book, took the exam and passed it.’
    • ‘Like a red rag to a bull, the needlessly conceded goal sparked Dulwich back into life and the two-goal cushion was swiftly restored as James completed his hat trick.’
    • ‘This will be like a red rag to a bull - why stir things up?’
    • ‘This was like a red rag to a bull for the IMF, which rose to the bait last week.’
    • ‘Now there's a red rag to a bull, if there ever was one.’
    • ‘Davidson's tongue is hanging out which is like a red rag to a bull to Simon Cowell as he grabs hold of it with both hands.’
    • ‘To many of the form critics the very word ‘biography’ was like a red rag to a bull.’