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  • (UK) IPA(key): /ɹɛd.ʃɜː(ɹ)t/
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Etymology 1Edit

red +‎ shirt. Derived from the red jersey commonly worn by a player meeting this definition in practice scrimmages against the regulars.


redshirt (plural redshirts)

  1. (US, collegiate sports) an athlete who spends a year not participating in official athletic activities, but does not lose his or her eligibility to participate in following years


redshirt (third-person singular simple present redshirts, present participle redshirting, simple past and past participle redshirted)

  1. (US, collegiate sports) to place an athlete in a status wherein the athlete will spend a year not participating in official athletic activities, but will not lose his or her eligibility to participate in following years.
    • 2004, George R. Mills -, A View from the Bench, →ISBN:
      Being asked whether I was going to be redshirted had some status associated with it.
    The university decided to redshirt the freshman linebacker to give him an extra year to build up his bulk.
  2. (US, collegiate sports) To take on a status wherein one will spend a year not participating in official athletic activities.
    • 2012 -, John Feinstein, Season on the Brink, →ISBN, page 62:
      Hillman, who had come to Indiana without a scholarship (he now had one) from a Los Angeles suburb, wanted to redshirt so that he would have two years of eligibility left after Alford graduated. Smith didn't want to redshirt, he wanted to play.
  3. (US) To hold a child out of kindergarten for one year in the hope that the child will do better academically and socially.
    Parents who redshirt their 5-year-olds instead of enrolling them in kindergarten are a concern to some Nebraska educators who are trying to reverse the trend of holding children back until age 6 to start school. —"Some Educators Oppose Redshirting 5-Year-Olds," The Omaha World-Herald, March 1, 1985

Derived termsEdit

Etymology 2Edit

English Wikipedia has an article on:

red +‎ shirt. From the tendency of red-shirted ensigns in the original Star Trek television series to die prematurely.


redshirt (plural redshirts)

  1. (fiction, science fiction) An unimportant character introduced only to be killed in order to underscore the peril to the important characters; an expendable character.
    Sensing danger, Captain Kirk decided to beam down to the surface with Spock, McCoy, and a couple of redshirts.
    • 2017 12 Monkeys s3e6 42m
      I got a look at your boss's memoirs and I couldn't help but notice I wasn't in it. How do I fit into all this?
      Maybe you don't.
      If it wasn't for me your freaks in the ropes and the face paint never would've gotten into this place to uses Jones's machine...
      The Messengers' Cycle has many moving parts. Perhaps you were the path of least resistance.
      I am not a goddamn redshirt! I have a purpose!

See alsoEdit

Etymology 3Edit

red +‎ shirt. From the red shirts worn by such people when on duty


redshirt (plural redshirts)

  1. (US navy) A person responsible for loading and unloading weapons, artillery, and equipment from aircraft.