What Is Another Way to Say “Red Herring”?

Looking for synonyms for red herring? We’ve got you covered!

Here’s a list of other ways to say red herring.

  • Distraction
  • Misdirection
  • Decoy
  • Smokescreen
  • Ruse
  • Blind
  • Diversion
  • Subterfuge
  • False lead
  • Wild goose chase
  • Misleading clue
  • Sideshow
  • Feint
  • False trail
  • Misleading information

Want to learn how to say red herring professionally? Keep reading for examples and use cases.

1. Distraction

Appropriate Use: Something that diverts attention away from the main issue or focus.
Example: “The competitor’s announcement was seen as a distraction from our product launch.”

2. Misdirection

Appropriate Use: Deliberately diverting attention or resources to a different, irrelevant issue.
Example: “The CEO used misdirection in the meeting to avoid discussing the financial losses.”

3. Decoy

Appropriate Use: Something or someone used to distract others from the real target or intention.
Example: “They used a decoy project to keep the competitors from discovering their true plans.”

4. Smokescreen

Appropriate Use: Something designed to obscure, confuse, or mislead, often in a strategic or tactical context.
Example: “The company’s PR statement was just a smokescreen to cover up the scandal.”

5. Ruse

Appropriate Use: A cunning plan or action designed to mislead or deceive someone.
Example: “The leaked memo turned out to be a ruse to mislead the press.”

6. Blind

Appropriate Use: Something intended to conceal the true situation, especially something misleading.
Example: “The announcement was a blind to divert attention from the company’s real financial situation.”

7. Diversion

Appropriate Use: An action or thing that turns attention away from something else.
Example: “Creating a diversion in the market allowed the company to advance in a new direction unnoticed.”

8. Subterfuge

Appropriate Use: Deceit used to achieve one’s goal.
Example: “The merger talks were a subterfuge to evaluate the competitor’s strategies.”

9. False lead

Appropriate Use: Misleading information or clue that takes attention away from the actual issue.
Example: “Investigators spent weeks chasing false leads in the corporate espionage case.”

10. Wild goose chase

Appropriate Use: A futile search or pursuit based on misleading clues or information.
Example: “The audit turned out to be a wild goose chase, with no real evidence of fraud found.”

11. Misleading clue

Appropriate Use: A clue or piece of information that leads someone in the wrong direction.
Example: “The discrepancies in the report were just misleading clues that confused the analysts.”

12. Sideshow

Appropriate Use: A minor event or situation that draws attention away from the main event.
Example: “The media focused on a sideshow rather than the main issue of the corporate meeting.”

13. Feint

Appropriate Use: A deceptive or pretended blow, thrust, or other movement.
Example: “The company’s sudden interest in an alternative market was a feint to distract from their core strategy changes.”

14. False trail

Appropriate Use: A path or track that leads someone in the wrong direction.
Example: “The leaked information led the competitors on a false trail, away from the company’s true innovation.”

15. Misleading information

Appropriate Use: Information intended to deceive or lead someone in the wrong direction.
Example: “The misleading information in the proposal caused the team to reassess their strategy.”

Linda Brown