excessive formality and routine required before official action can be taken.
obstructive official routine or procedure; time-consuming bureaucracy

red tape definition

Bureaucratic procedures that delay progress: “Paula had hoped to settle the inheritance quickly but got caught up in a lot of red tape.”

red tape definition

Administrative procedures, especially in a bureaucracy, that are marked by complexity and delay: “Red tape delayed his passport.”
red tape
Official forms and procedures, especially those that are complex and time-consuming. For example, There’s so much red tape involved in approving our remodeling that we’re tempted to postpone it indefinitely. This expression alludes to the former British custom of tying up official documents with red ribbon. [ Early 1800s ]


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