Red-herring



noun
1.
a smoked herring.
2.
something intended to divert attention from the real problem or matter at hand; a misleading clue.
3.
Also called red-herring prospectus. Finance. a tentative prospectus circulated by the underwriters of a new issue of stocks or bonds that is pending approval by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission: so called because the front cover of such a prospectus must carry a special notice printed in red.
4.
any similar tentative financial prospectus, as one concerning a pending or proposed sale of cooperative or condominium apartments.
noun
1.
anything that diverts attention from a topic or line of inquiry
2.
a herring cured by salting and smoking

red herring definition

In argument, something designed to divert an opponent’s attention from the central issue. If a herring is dragged across a trail that hounds are following, it throws them off the scent.
red herring
Something that draws attention away from the central issue, as in Talking about the new plant is a red herring to keep us from learning about downsizing plans. The herring in this expression is red and strong-smelling from being preserved by smoking. The idiom alludes to dragging a smoked herring across a trail to cover up the scent and throw off tracking dogs. [ Late 1800s ]

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