(of the eyes) red because of dilated blood vessels.

Origin of bloodshot

1545–55; apocopated variant of blood-shotten. See blood, shotten Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for bloodshot

bloody, red

Examples from the Web for bloodshot

Contemporary Examples of bloodshot

Historical Examples of bloodshot

  • His bloodshot eyes blinked truculently at his alighted fare.

    The Black Bag

    Louis Joseph Vance

  • Then, with a quick look into his bloodshot eyes, she went on: “Why did you wait for me—here?”

    The Law-Breakers

    Ridgwell Cullum

  • His eyes were ringed and bloodshot with fatigue, and with incipient snow-blindness.

    Murder Point

    Coningsby Dawson

  • Her hands were hot, her head was feverish, and her blind eyes were bloodshot.

    The Scapegoat

    Hall Caine

  • There were sobs in Robbie's voice, but no tears in his bloodshot eyes.

British Dictionary definitions for bloodshot



(of an eye) inflamed
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 bloodshot

also blood-shot, 1550s, short for bloodshotten (c.1500), from blood (n.) + old past participle of shoot.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

bloodshot in Medicine




Red and inflamed as a result of locally congested blood vessels, as of the eyes.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.