Definition of bloodletting in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈblədˌlediNG/


chiefly historical
1The 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.
1.1The 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.
1.2Bitter division and quarreling within an organization.
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.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: blood·let·ting

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.