red ink

a financial deficit; business loss.
the condition of showing a business loss.

1925–30, Americanism Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Word Origin & History

red ink
"financial losses," 1929, from the red ink traditionally used to indicate debits in accounts.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang Dictionary

red ink definition

  1. n.
    debt; indebtedness as shown in red ink on a financial statement. : There is too much red ink in my financial statement.
Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions by Richard A. Spears.Fourth Edition.
Copyright 2007. Published by McGraw-Hill Education.
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Example sentences
When growth results in more economic activity, governments' revenue receipts
  increase and red ink is reduced.
Now its builders are trying to keep it from crashing in a sea of red ink.
It produced nothing but constant trouble and occasional red ink.
The moribund combination leads to gushing red ink for the airlines.
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