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a.1.Pertaining to, or characterized by, official formality. See Red tape, under Red, a.
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, published 1913 by G. & C. Merriam Co.
References in classic literature ?
The Moors have a small opinion of England, France, and America, and put their representatives to a deal of red-tape circumlocution before they grant them their common rights, let alone a favor.
If I could only drive this into the heads of you rising parliamentary lords, and young swells who "have your ways made for you," as the saying is, you, who frequent palaver houses and West-end clubs, waiting always ready to strap yourselves on to the back of poor dear old John, as soon as the present used-up lot (your fathers and uncles), who sit there on the great parliamentary-majorities' pack-saddle, and make believe they're guiding him with their red-tape bridle, tumble, or have to be lifted off!
Do all this honestly as man to man, and by the time you come to ride old John, you'll be able to do something more than sit on his back, and may feel his mouth with some stronger bridle than a red-tape one.
HOUSEBUILDER Redrow hit out at council red-tape - after revealing that the firm now spends more money on dealing with the "comical" planning system than it does on bricks.
Do you remember the government project "Regulation Guillotine" which aimed to cut red-tape procedures and rules that made life harder?
The limited focus and lack of progress on other aspects of red-tape research is partly due to the opportunity costs invested in joining a debate that Buchanan (1975) initiated by noting that managers in the private sector reported higher red tape than did managers in the public sector.
To date, the Ontario government has passed 13 red-tape reduction bills, repealed 50 acts, amended more than 200 other acts, and eliminated 1,700 regulations in order to make it easier to do business.