See also: red eye, redeye, and Red Eye



A red-eye or common rudd (Scardinius erythrophthalmus; sense 1.1).
The red-eye or red-eyed treefrog (Agalychnis callidryas; sense 1.3).
The red-eye cicada (Psaltoda moerens; sense 1.4).
The red-eye or red-eyed vireo (Vireo olivaceus; sense 1.5).
A highland moccasin or northern copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix mokasen), one of the two subspecies of copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix) sometimes called a red-eye (sense 1.7).
Red-eye (sense 4) in a human eye caused by a subconjuctival haemorrhage.
A red-eye effect (sense 5) in a colour photograph.

The noun is derived from red +‎ eye;[1] sense 2.3 (“strong but poor-quality whiskey”)[1] and sense 3 (“overnight airplane flight”) are probably so named because they may cause people to develop bloodshot eyes.

The verb is derived from the noun.



red-eye (countable and uncountable, plural red-eyes)

  1. (countable) The names of animals that have red eyes.
    1. The common rudd (Scardinius erythrophthalmus), a freshwater fish. [from 17th c.]
      • 1836, William Yarrell, “The Roach”, in A History of British Fishes. [...] In Two Volumes, volume I, London: John Van Voorst, [], OCLC 8584427, page 349:
        The fish of Lough Neath, in Ireland, called a Roach, is in reality the Rudd, or Red-eye, Cyprinus erythrophthalamus of authors, to be hereafter described—a fish belonging to the second division of the genus Leuciscus of Klein, which has the dorsal fin over the space between the ventral and anal fins: [...]
      • [1876?], R[obert] Hamilton, “XIII. Family of Carps. Cyprinidæ.”, in A History of British Fishes, volume II, London: Hardwicke and Bogue, [], OCLC 43768534, pages 77 and 78:
        [page 77] L. erythrophthalmus. The Red-Eye or Rudd. [...] The name Red-Eye has been assigned to it from the colour of the iris; [...] [page 78] The body of the Red-Eye is deep, and the lower-jaw is the longest.
    2. Any of various grass-skippers or hesperiid butterflies of the genus Matapa.
      • 2000, Krushnamegh Kunte, “Family Hesperiidae: Skippers [Giant Redeye]”, in Madhav Gadgil, editor, India—a Lifescape: Butterflies of Peninsular India, Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh: Universities Press, published 2006, →ISBN, page 213, column 2:
        The Common Redeye (Matapa aria Moore) is much smaller (wingspan: 40–55 mm), plain brown without any markings, but as in the Giant Redeye its eyes are red.
    3. The red-eyed treefrog (Agalychnis callidryas), which is native to neotropical rainforests.
      • 2006, R[ichard] D. Bartlett, The 25 Best Reptile and Amphibian Pets, Hauppauge, N.Y.: Barron’s Educational Series, →ISBN, page 125:
        Red-eyes have large and well-developed toepads and are adept at both leaping and walking through their elevated homes.
    4. (Australia) A species of cicada, Psaltoda moerens, native to eastern Australia. [from 20th c.]
      • 2010 September, M. S. Moulds, “Three Noisy Sydney Insects – the Cicadas”, in Daniel Lunney, Pat Hutchings, and Dieter Hochuli, editors, The Natural History of Sydney, Sydney, N.S.W.: Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales, →ISBN, image caption, page 231:
        The red eye, Psaltoda moerens, is sometimes common around Sydney where its favoured host, Angophora costata, grows. In some years populations can be immense with many thousands inhabiting just a few trees.
    5. (Canada, US) The red-eyed vireo (Vireo olivaceus), a small American songbird. [from 19th c.]
      • 1851, J[ohann] G[eorg] Heck, “Sub-order 3. Dentirostres, Tooth-billed Birds.”, in Spencer F[ullerton] Baird, transl., Iconographic Encyclopædia of Science, Literature, and Art. [...] Translated from the German, [...] In Four Volumes, volume II (Botany, Zoology, Anthropology, and Surgery), New York, N.Y.: Rudolph Garrigue, [], OCLC 670078133, pages 550–551:
        The red-eye (Vireo olivaceus), [...] The first (the red-eye) is one of the most abundant birds in the woods of the northern states. In the spring months, he is one of the most conspicuous of our singers, and, though his notes are short, they are very musical and lively.
      • 1998 June, W[illiam] Bruce McGillivray; Glen P[eter] Semenchuk, “Shrikes and Vireos”, in The Federation of Alberta Naturalists Field Guide to Alberta Birds, Edmonton, Alta.: Federation of Alberta Naturalists, →ISBN, page 196:
        The Red-eye sings with clear to slurred whistles using a variety of phrasings. It scolds with a harsh "dzur." [...] Red-eyes are common in city and town parks.
    6. (South Africa, US) Any of various round herrings of the genus Etrumeus.
      • 1986, L. V. Shannon; S. C. Pillar, “The Benguela Ecosystem. Part III. Plankton.”, in Harold Barnes and Margaret Barnes, editors, Oceanography and Marine Biology: An Annual Review, volume 24, Aberdeen: Aberdeen University Press, →ISBN, ISSN 0078-3218, page 155:
        The egg of the round herring or red-eye Etrumeus whiteheadi (E. micropus, E. teres) is smooth, spherical (diameter around 1·4 mm) with a narrow perivitelline space and has a large lightly segmented yolk and no oil globule [...].
      • 2006, Carl van der Lingen [et al.], “Forecasting Shelf Processes of Relevance to Living Marine Resources in the BCLME”, in Vere Shannon [et al.], editors, Benguela: Predicting a Large Marine Ecosystem (Large Marine Ecosystems Series; 14), Amsterdam; Kidlington, Oxfordshire: Elsevier, →ISBN, ISSN 1570-0461, page 330:
        This is probably less of a barrier to mesopelagic species such as lanternfish (Lampanyctodes hectoris), redeye (Etrumeus whiteheadi) or gobies (Sufflogobius bibarbatus), all of which are capable of more extensive vertical migration than the small epipelagic fish.
    7. (US) Either of two subspecies of the copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix), a venomous pit viper native to the United States: either the broad-banded copperhead or Texas copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix laticinctus), or the highland moccasin or northern copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix mokasen).
      • [1905, F. N. Notestein, “The Ophidia of Michigan with an Analytical Key”, in Seventh Report of the Michigan Academy of Science: [], Lansing, Mich.: Wynkoop Hallenbeck Crawford Co., state printers, OCLC 721999214, page 120:
        Agkistrodon contortrix Linnaeus.—Cotton-mouth, Highland Moccasin, Rattlesnake Pilot, Red-eye.]
    8. (US) Any of various sunfishes of the family Centrarchidae, especially the redeye bass (Micropterus coosae). [from 19th c.]
      • 1970 April, A. J. McClane, “The Sunfish Family”, in Clare Conley, editor, Field and Stream, volume LXXIV, number 12, New York, N.Y.: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, ISSN 0015-0673, OCLC 613418155, page 116, column 2:
        Redeyes inhabit clear-water streams with an abundance of shoals and are usually confined to headwater sections.
      • 1994, John Ed Pearce, “The Fatal Clash on Crane Creek”, in Days of Darkness: The Feuds of Eastern Kentucky, Lexington, Ky.: University Press of Kentucky, →ISBN, page 151:
        He remembered turning over the flat rocks in the shallows to catch crawdads, remembered the sungrannies and redeyes around the ends of trees fallen into the river.
    9. The redeye tetra (Moenkhausia sanctaefilomenae), a freshwater fish, commonly kept in aquariums, native to South America.
      • 1996 May 25, Mark Lawrence Storch, “Cichilds with Tetras”, in rec.aquaria.freshwater.misc, Usenet[1]:
        My roommate has a 30 gallon long tank that is currently stocked with 6 neons and about 30 red-eyes. The neons are large (as neons go) and the red-eyes are almost an inch and a quarter.
  2. (countable) Types of beverages.
    1. A drink made by adding a shot of espresso to a cup of coffee.
      • 2008, Betty Hechtman, Hooked on Murder, New York, N.Y.: Berkley Prime Crime, →ISBN, page 58:
        "A red-eye, please," I said to the young woman. I waited to see whether she would recognize the drink or whether I would have to explain that it was a cup of coffee with a shot of espresso. [...] She made my drink, then his, but kept her eyes on him even as she handed me my red-eye.
      • 2012 July, Juliet Blackwell, chapter 4, in In a Witch’s Wardrobe (A Witchcraft Mystery), New York, N.Y.: Obsidian, New American Library, →ISBN, pages 32–33:
        "Morning, Lily." She handed me a Red Eye—coffee with a shot of espresso—and blew on her own soy chai latte.
    2. (Canada, regional) A drink consisting of beer with tomato juice. [from 20th c.]
    3. (US, slang) A strong, but poor-quality whiskey. [from 19th c.]
      • 1967 April 29, Charles Bukowski, “[Letter to Darrell Kerr]”, in On Writing, Edinburgh: Canongate Books, published 2015, →ISBN:
        [W]hat I am trying to explain to you is that I have rather cracked grains and that a visit from you would not solve anything, especially with a jug of red eye when my stomach is gone.
      • 2010, William W[allace] Johnstone; J. A. Johnstone, chapter 16, in Savage Guns (Pinnacle Western; Cotton Pickens; 3), New York, N.Y.: Pinnacle Books, →ISBN:
        She set the bottle of red-eye on the bar, along with a tumbler. [...] I sipped, wheezed, let that first firewater slide down and start some trouble in my gut, and then sipped again. You had to ease into red-eye, and not take her all at once.
  3. (countable, US, aviation, travel, colloquial, also attributively) An overnight airplane flight.
    I waited too late to book my holiday flight, so I had to take the red-eye.
    • 1994, Tom Clancy, Armored Cav: A Guided Tour of an Armored Cavalry Regiment, New York, N.Y.: Berkley Books, →ISBN, page 281:
      Fortunately, most of these were former French colonies, and through a combination of quiet diplomacy and well-placed French nationals in the various air-traffic-control centers, the 300-mile-long stream of American aircraft flew the width of Africa as uneventfully as a red-eye flight from LAX to JFK.
    • 2007, Ellen Klages, “Triangle”, in Portable Childhoods, San Francisco, Calif.: Tachyon Publications, →ISBN, pages 61–62:
      The red-eye back to San Francisco was only about half full. Michael had a window seat and Willy stretched his six-foot-three inch frame out into the aisle as they waited for take-off.
    • 2014, John Glatt, “Up and Running: April to June, 1968”, in Live at the Fillmore East and West: Getting Backstage and Personal with Rock’s Greatest Legends, Guilford, Conn.: Lyons Press, Rowman & Littlefield, →ISBN, page 136:
      He delighted in flying first class to New York on a red-eye and then putting in a full day's work. He functioned on pure adrenaline, often working twenty-hour days.
  4. (countable, uncountable, medicine) Redness of the conjunctiva; especially when caused by conjunctivitis (pink-eye). [from 20th c.]
    • 2014, Andrew T. Raferty; Eric Lim; Andrew J. K. Östör, “Eye Disorders”, in Churchill’s Pocketbook of Differential Diagnosis, 4th edition, Churchill Livingstone, Elsevier, →ISBN, page 126:
      Most eye disorders tend to present as ‘red eye’. It is the single most common ophthalmic complaint encountered by general practitioners.
  5. (countable, uncountable, photography) Redness in the eye(s) of someone in a colour photograph, as an unwanted consequence of light from a flash reflecting off blood vessels in the retina. [from 20th c.]
    • 2009, Corey Hilz, “Making Pictures”, in Nikon D60 (Focal Digital Camera Guides), Burlington, Mass.; Oxford, Oxfordshire: Focal Press, →ISBN, part 1 (The Camera), page 65:
      Use red-eye reduction when photographing people. It won't eliminate red-eye in every photo, but it's worth trying. When the D60 attempts to reduce red-eye it lights up the autofocus assist lamp on the front of the camera for about one second before taking the picture.
    • 2009, Julie Adair King; with Doug Sahlin, “Ten (or so) Fun and Practical Retouch Menu Features”, in Nikon D5000 for Dummies (For Dummies), Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley Publishing, →ISBN, part IV (The Parts of Tens), page 282:
      If you spot a red-eye problem, however, give the Red-Eye Correction filter a try: [...] If the camera detects red-eye, it applies the removal filter and displays the results in the monitor. If the camera can't find any red-eye, it displays a message telling you so.

Alternative formsEdit

Derived termsEdit



red-eye (third-person singular simple present red-eyes, present participle red-eyeing or red-eying, simple past and past participle red-eyed)

  1. (intransitive, aviation, travel, colloquial) Often followed by it: to travel on a red-eye (an overnight airplane flight).
    • 1988 January 28, “Witnesses: Roy Sampson, Portland, Oregon”, in Enforcement of the Indian Civil Rights Act: Hearing Held in Washington, D.C., January 28, 1988: [], [Washington, D.C.?]: United States Commission on Civil Rights, OCLC 79154644, page 127:
      I flew in this morning, red-eying it in last night after hearing of this hearing, because what you are doing here is something that I am particularly interested in.
    • 2004, Brenda Hunter, “What is Cancer Saying about Our Lives?”, in Staying Alive: Life-changing Strategies for Surviving Cancer: [], Colorado Springs, Colo.: WaterBrook Press, Random House, →ISBN, page 25:
      When I arrived at the Center, Block's staff told me he had red-eyed it home from Alaska the night before; he had been surfing fifteen- to twenty-foot waves off the coast of Alaska.
    • 2011, Glenn Kleier, chapter 7, in The Knowledge of Good & Evil, New York, N.Y.: Tom Doherty Associates, →ISBN, page 37:
      And though convinced she was making a fool of herself, she'd done as the frantic monk had begged, red-eyeing to Miami, island-hopping here.



Further readingEdit