A butterfly shaped orange–red thermally activated delayed fluorescent (TADF) emitter, named ACFO, is developed by integrating electron-donating (D) 9,9-dimethyl-9,10-dihydroacridine units into γ-positions of an electron-accepting (A) fluorenone core to form a D-A-D configuration. ACFO emits intense orange–red light peaking at 600 nm in toluene solution, which is significantly red-shifted compared with its benzophenone-based counterpart. Imparted with a small singlet–triplet splitting energy of 0.13 eV, ACFO exhibits distinct TADF feature with a short delayed fluorescent lifetime of 3.8 μs and displays a moderate photoluminescence quantum yield of 31%. Consequently, employing ACFO as an emitter results in orange–red organic light-emitting diodes that exhibit a maximum external quantum efficiency of nearly 11%, corresponding to a nearly 100% exciton utilization efficiency in electroluminescence process. Our finding demonstrates for the first time that fluorenone derivatives can be employed as TADF emitters for high-efficiency fluorescent organic light-emitting diodes.