- Surgery. a kind of lancet, as for opening veins.
- the beveled leading edge of a sawtooth.
Origin of fleam
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for fleam
It is also used for tortoise-shell, having in that case a bevel or fleam on the front face, and no set to the teeth.
He fumbled in his pockets as he spoke, and, as chance would it, the “fleam” (or cattle lancet) was somewhere about his dress.
But, vein or artery, it signified little; no living blood gushed out; only a little watery moisture followed the cut of the fleam.
Frequently a veterinary spring lancet or fleam is mistaken for a human lancet, or a scarificator for an instrument of venesection.
Since the specimens found in museums vary in size, it is likely that this type of fleam was used on both animals and humans.
- archaic a lancet used for letting blood
C16: from Old French flieme, alteration of Late Latin phlebotomus lancet (literally: vein cutter); see phlebotomy