Definition of red-light district in US English:

red-light district


  • An area of a town or city containing many brothels, strip clubs, and other sex businesses.

    • ‘‘At the time my subordinate just wanted to ask why the police officers raided the red-light district,’ he said.’
    • ‘‘At her high school, I'd swear I was walking through the red-light district,’ he says.’
    • ‘The bright lights of the red-light district of Center City shone brightly in the dark sky.’
    • ‘Suggestions had been made that some men had been put off going into the managed zone to pay for vice girls, and some prostitutes had moved away from the regulated red-light district.’
    • ‘As I will show in this paper, the Amsterdam red-light district is characterized by its own set of socially and spatially defined rules.’
    • ‘In Pompeii sex wasn't something confined to the red-light district.’
    • ‘Maybe some writers go to a red-light district for research purposes and somehow the book never gets finished.’
    • ‘The area around Shinjuku station is the Japanese red-light district.’
    • ‘I found that there was not just one method of initiating encounters in the red-light district.’
    • ‘You end up with a legal red-light district and an illegal one and it solves nothing.’
    • ‘‘Everybody went to the brothel,’ said Alain Plumey, curator of the Erotic Museum in the Paris red-light district of Pigalle.’
    • ‘The car was parked in a relatively small alleyway in the seedier part of the city; near the red-light district.’
    • ‘A lot of these youngsters were taken to the red-light district in Calcutta.’
    • ‘In the red-light district of St Louis in 1895, a pimp shot a man dead in an argument over a hat.’
    • ‘This is even more the case in a red-light district than in other urban public areas.’
    • ‘Ethnographic research in the Amsterdam red-light district shows that these assumptions are often deceptive.’
    • ‘The famous red-light district featured perfectly legal prostitutes on display in their windows.’
    • ‘Occupying several blocks on two of the most beautiful canals in the very centre of the city, the red-light district is pretty much unavoidable.’
    • ‘The locals seem to understand perfectly that the ‘Wallen’, the world-famous red-light district, is an essential part of any tourist's stay in the city.’
    • ‘Oh, he is also a regular customer of a prostitute named Norma who works at a red-light district near his office.’


Late 19th century: from the use of a red light as the sign of a brothel.


red-light district

/ˌrɛd ˈlaɪt ˌdɪstrɪkt//ˌred ˈlīt ˌdistrikt/