Red carpet

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The term red carpet has a literal and a figurative meaning. It is used in the expressions walk the red carpet, roll out the red carpet, and red-carpet treatment. We will examine the meaning of each of these terms, where they came from and some examples of their use in sentences.

Red carpet refers to honor and ceremony afforded to important people. It is an allusion to the fact that a red carpet is literally laid out for dignitaries to walk on. Dignitaries may include anyone from ambassadors, heads of state, royalty or movie stars. While the red carpet is used on important, official occasions, it is also used for effect on other, less important occasions. The use of the red carpet dates back to Ancient Greece, and is immortalized in the play Agamemnon, written by Aeschylus.

To walk the red carpet usually refers to the opportunity celebrities give photographers to snap their picture on the way into an awards ceremony or party, as they walk down a red carpet. The idiom roll out the red carpet means to welcome someone with special treatment. The red-carpet treatment is treating someone as if he is special and important. The plural form of red carpet is red carpets.


As the final red carpet event of a season that has been marked by activism at nearly every major event, the Oscars have proved more than anything how many different causes Hollywood is standing behind. (Vanity Fair Magazine)

THE Territory Government must roll out the red carpet to Qantas and find out exactly what is needed to bring its $20 million flying academy to Darwin. (The North Territory News)

Prince Mohammed and his entourage will get the red-carpet treatment when they land in London on Wednesday for his first official meeting with Prime Minister Theresa May. (The WEek Magazine)

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