[ bluhd-let-ing ]
/ ˈblʌdˌlɛt ɪŋ /


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 forms

blood·let·ter, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for blood-letting

British Dictionary definitions for blood-letting


/ (ˈblʌdˌlɛtɪŋ) /


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

Medicine definitions for blood-letting


[ blŭdlĕt′ĭng ]


The therapeutic removal of blood, usually from a vein.

Related forms

bloodlet′ter n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.