red-handed


red-handed

adjective, adverb

  1. in the very act of a crime, wrongdoing, etc., or in possession of self-incriminating evidence: They caught him red-handed dipping into the till.

adjective

  1. (postpositive) in the act of committing a crime or doing something wrong or shameful (esp in the phrase catch red-handed)
adj.

1781, earlier red-hand (early 15c.), originally in Scottish legal writing, from red (adj.1) + hand (n.), presumably from the image of a murderer caught in the act, with blood-stained hands.

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