- 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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for blood-letting
It is surely preferable to blood-letting in the guise of ideologically-guided nation-building.America Doesn’t Need a Big Army Any More
March 10, 2014
In fact the Abrahamic sacrifice had nothing to do with the physical act of blood-letting.Should Animal Sacrifice End?
October 26, 2012
With regard to blood-letting the various orders had different customs.English Villages
P. H. Ditchfield
It was a political fever that had to be gone through with; and blood-letting was the only cure.Blood and Iron
John Hubert Greusel
In any case, the dragoon was obviously plethoric and would be the better for a blood-letting.Captain Blood
And sent Queeth's crowd in to do your blood-letting for you?Victory
Lester del Rey
He staggered back, and the blood-letting seemed to relieve his temper.Robert Orange
John Oliver Hobbes
- 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
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- The therapeutic removal of blood, usually from a vein.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.