Share this entry

bloodletting Line breaks: blood|let¦ting
Pronunciation: /ˈblʌdlɛtɪŋ/

Definition of bloodletting in English:


[mass noun]
1chiefly historical The surgical removal of some of a patient’s blood for therapeutic purposes.
Example sentences
  • There are medieval scenes of bloodletting, and of doctors cauterising patients' piles, polyps, and even cataracts (ouch).
  • But the range of surgical expertise dealt largely with the surface of the body: for example cautery, bloodletting, and draining boils and abscesses.
  • There has been a health care crisis since we were bloodletting.
2The violent killing and wounding of people during a war or conflict: gang members have halted their internecine bloodletting
More example sentences
  • And the surreal and brutal slaughter, violence and bloodletting equals the Crusades.
  • Tragic as all this violence and bloodletting is, even I am starting to have trouble distinguishing these reports from one another, day after day.
  • Going by the rage and anger that the assassination has sparked, the world should brace itself for more violence and bloodletting.
2.1Bitter division and quarrelling within an organization: the consequences for the party of new bloodletting
More example sentences
  • They will be hoping to choose a candidate early in the primary season, and with limited bloodletting.
  • Sure, they showed division, open animosities and public bloodletting.
  • But, unplanned, they can also trigger a bout of internal party bloodletting.

Words that rhyme with bloodletting


Definition of bloodletting in:

Share this entry


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day whippersnapper
Pronunciation: ˈwɪpəsnapə
a young, inexperienced person considered presumptuous or overconfident...