See more synonyms for bleed on
verb (used without object), bled [bled] /blɛd/, bleed·ing.
  1. to lose blood from the vascular system, either internally into the body or externally through a natural orifice or break in the skin: to bleed from the mouth.
  2. (of injured tissue, excrescences, etc.) to exude blood: a wart that is bleeding.
  3. (of a plant) to exude sap, resin, etc., from a wound.
  4. (of dye or paint) to run or become diffused: All the colors bled when the dress was washed.
  5. (of a liquid) to ooze or flow out.
  6. to feel pity, sorrow, or anguish: My heart bleeds for you. A nation bleeds for its dead heroes.
  7. to suffer wounds or death, as in battle: The soldiers bled for the cause.
  8. (of a broadcast signal) to interfere with another signal: CB transmissions bleeding over into walkie-talkies.
  9. Printing. (of printed matter) to run off the edges of a page, either by design or through mutilation caused by too close trimming.
  10. Slang. to pay out money, as when overcharged or threatened with extortion.
  11. Metallurgy. (of a cooling ingot or casting) to have molten metal force its way through the solidified exterior because of internal gas pressure.
verb (used with object), bled [bled] /blɛd/, bleed·ing.
  1. to cause to lose blood, especially surgically: Doctors no longer bleed their patients to reduce fever.
  2. to lose or emit (blood or sap).
  3. to drain or draw sap, water, electricity, etc., from (something): to bleed a pipeline of excess air.
  4. to remove trapped air from (as an automotive brake system) by opening a bleeder valve.
  5. to obtain an excessive amount from; extort money from.
  6. Printing.
    1. to permit (printed illustrations or ornamentation) to run off the page or sheet.
    2. to trim the margin of (a book or sheet) so closely as to mutilate the text or illustration.
  1. Printing.
    1. a sheet or page margin trimmed so as to mutilate the text or illustration.
    2. a part thus trimmed off.
  2. Medicine/Medical. an instance of bleeding; hemorrhage: an intracranial bleed.
  1. Printing. characterized by bleeding: a bleed page.
Verb Phrases
  1. bleed off, to draw or extract: to bleed off sap from a maple tree; to bleed off static electricity.
  1. bleed white. white(def 41).

Origin of bleed

before 1000; Middle English bleden, Old English blēdan, derivative of blōd blood
Related formsout·bleed, verb (used with object), out·bled, out·bleed·ing.un·bled, adjective
Can be confusedbled bleed blood Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for bled

Contemporary Examples of bled

Historical Examples of bled

  • It's Bill that bled me, and bled me until I've had to soak a mortgage on the ranch.

  • After that I carried her, for the cut in her foot opened and bled.

    The Trail Book

    Mary Austin

  • The hurt was not dangerous, though it bled freely, and was some weeks in healing.

    Ned Myers

    James Fenimore Cooper

  • The Carthusians were bled five times, and the Dominicans four times in the year.

    English Villages

    P. H. Ditchfield

  • So, he was bled and he was blistered, and he was this and that, for six whole days and nights.

British Dictionary definitions for bled


verb bleeds, bleeding or bled
  1. (intr) to lose or emit blood
  2. (tr) to remove or draw blood from (a person or animal)
  3. (intr) to be injured or die, as for a cause or one's country
  4. (of plants) to exude (sap or resin), esp from a cut
  5. (tr) informal to obtain relatively large amounts of money, goods, etc, esp by extortion
  6. (tr) to draw liquid or gas from (a container or enclosed system)to bleed the hydraulic brakes
  7. (intr) (of dye or paint) to run or become mixed, as when wet
  8. to print or be printed so that text, illustrations, etc, run off the trimmed page
  9. (tr) to trim (the edges of a printed sheet) so closely as to cut off some of the printed matter
  10. (intr) civil engineering building trades (of a mixture) to exude (a liquid) during compaction, such as water from cement
  11. bleed someone or something dry to extort gradually all the resources of a person or thing
  12. one's heart bleeds used to express sympathetic grief, but often used ironically
  1. printing
    1. an illustration or sheet trimmed so that some matter is bled
    2. (as modifier)a bleed page
  2. printing the trimmings of a sheet that has been bled

Word Origin for bleed

Old English blēdan; see blood
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for bled

past tense and past participle of bleed (v.).



Old English bledan "to let blood," in Middle English and after, "to let blood from surgically;" also "to emit blood," from Proto-Germanic *blodjan "emit blood" (cf. Old Norse blæða, German bluten), from *bhlo-to- "swell, gush, spurt" (see blood (n.)). Meaning "extort money from" is from 1670s. Of dyes or paints, from 1862. Related: Bled; bleeding.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

bled in Medicine


  1. To lose blood as a result of rupture or severance of blood vessels.
  2. To take or remove blood from.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Idioms and Phrases with bled


In addition to the idiom beginning with bleed

  • bleed someone white

also see:

  • my heart bleeds for you
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.