[ 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.

Nearby words

  1. bloodiness,
  2. blooding,
  3. bloodless,
  4. bloodless operation,
  5. bloodlessly,
  6. bloodline,
  7. bloodlust,
  8. bloodmobile,
  9. bloodnoun,
  10. bloodroot

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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Medicine definitions for bloodletter


[ blŭdlĕt′ĭng ]


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.