Definition of red tapeworm in English:

red tapeworm

Pronunciation /rɛd ˈteɪpwəːm/


humorous, derogatory
  • A person who adheres excessively to official rules and formalities; a red-tapist. Also (chiefly with the): red tape, excessive bureaucracy.


Mid 19th century; earliest use found in Charles Dickens (1812–1870), novelist. From red tape + worm, punningly after tapeworm.