Definition of red-handed in English:



  • (of a person) having been discovered in or just after the act of doing something wrong or illegal.

    ‘I caught him red-handed, stealing a wallet’
    • ‘A hoax caller was caught red-handed by firefighters after his phone led them to the pub where he was drinking.’
    • ‘The culprits, who were caught red-handed by police, caused £20,000 damage.’
    • ‘But it was no teenage delinquent - the man caught red-handed was a 59-year-old university lecturer.’
    • ‘Armed raiders were caught red-handed yesterday as they were about to carry out a heist on a security van.’
    • ‘It seems a rare occasion to catch a thief red-handed.’
    • ‘Had someone called us when the raid was in progress, we could have caught them red-handed.’
    • ‘This might even help them if they accidentally get caught red-handed.’
    • ‘What could I say to defend myself when I had been caught red-handed?’
    • ‘He could get caught red-handed in the most heinous of crimes and she would keep him out of jail.’
    • ‘Short of being caught red-handed stealing clients' money, accountants were rarely disciplined.’
    • ‘Of course, the police caught the burglars red-handed.’
    • ‘Burglars were caught red-handed surrounded by computers that they were intending to steal from a business.’
    • ‘The excitement of the weekend was catching a bicycle thief red-handed.’
    • ‘Armed robbers were caught red-handed yesterday as they were about to carry out a raid on a security van.’
    • ‘He spends all of his waking hours hatching schemes to catch the thief red-handed.’
    • ‘Now police are deliberately ‘baiting’ cars in South Yorkshire in an attempt to catch the thieves red-handed.’
    • ‘Some have developed or perfected sophisticated skills to carry out corruption without being caught red-handed.’
    • ‘His expression was that of a child who had been caught red-handed.’
    • ‘Eventually, Tina was caught red-handed on videotape clandestinely throwing objects.’
    • ‘The 30-year-old man was caught red-handed by residents as he was about to make off with a stolen motorcycle.’
    in the act, with one's fingers in the till, with one's hand in the till
    in flagrante delicto
    dead to rights
    bang to rights
    with one's trousers down
    with one's pants down
    View synonyms



/ˌred ˈhandəd/