1. red herring, diversion, deviation, digression, deflection, deflexion, divagation
usage: any diversion intended to distract attention from the main issue
2. red herring, smoked herring, herring
usage: a dried and smoked herring having a reddish color
3. preliminary prospectus, red herring, course catalog, course catalogue, prospectus
usage: a first draft of a prospectus; must be clearly marked to indicate that parts may be changed in the final prospectus; "because some portions of the cover page are printed in red ink a preliminary prospectus is sometimes called a red herring"