bloodletting

[bluhd-let-ing]
|

noun

the act or practice of letting blood by opening a vein; phlebotomy.
bloodshed or slaughter.
Informal. severe cutbacks or reduction in personnel, appropriations, etc.: The company went through a period of bloodletting in the 1970s.

Origin of bloodletting

First recorded in 1175–1225, bloodletting is from the Middle English word blod letunge. See blood, let1, -ing1
Related formsblood·let·ter, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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British Dictionary definitions for blood-letting

blood-letting

noun

the therapeutic removal of blood, as in relieving congestive heart failureSee also phlebotomy
bloodshed, esp in a blood feud
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 blood-letting
n.

also bloodletting, early 13c., blod letunge, from blood (n.) + let (v.). Hyphenated from 17c., one word from mid-19c. Old English had blodlæte "blood-letting."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for blood-letting

bloodletting

[blŭdlĕt′ĭng]

n.

The therapeutic removal of blood, usually from a vein.
Related formsbloodlet′ter n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.