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[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
1175-1225; Middle English blod letunge. See blood, let1, -ing1
Related forms
bloodletter, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for blood-letting
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The action of the valves is then demonstrated experimentally on the arm bound as for blood-letting.

    Fathers of Biology Charles McRae
  • He staggered back, and the blood-letting seemed to relieve his temper.

    Robert Orange John Oliver Hobbes
  • The man of art then entered into a learned disquisition on pathology and the healthful practice of blood-letting.

  • With regard to blood-letting the various orders had different customs.

    English Villages P. H. Ditchfield
  • And sent Queeth's crowd in to do your blood-letting for you?

    Victory Lester del Rey
  • 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
  • Could I wonder after the tale of this service that Mademoiselle would have no blood-letting between the Paracousi and me?

  • In any case, the dragoon was obviously plethoric and would be the better for a blood-letting.

    Captain Blood Rafael Sabatini
British Dictionary definitions for blood-letting


the therapeutic removal of blood, as in relieving congestive heart failure See 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
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Word Origin and History for blood-letting

also bloodletting, early 13c., blod letunge, from blood (n.) + let (v.). Hyphenated from 17c., one word from mid-19c. Old English had blodlæte "blood-letting."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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blood-letting in Medicine

bloodletting blood·let·ting (blŭd'lět'ĭng)
The theropeutic removal of blood, usually from a vein.

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