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draw blood

Injure someone physically or emotionally. For example, The bullet skimmed his shoulder and barely drew any blood, or That reviewer really knows how to draw blood. This term alludes to drawing blood for diagnostic purposes.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Examples from the Web for draw blood
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • White doctors had sharp lancets to draw blood, scalpels to cut into sick people's bodies, saws to cut off infected limbs.

    Shaman Robert Shea
  • Ah, it is quite easy to draw blood, and it need be but a drop!

    Where Deep Seas Moan E. Gallienne-Robin
  • Captain MacIntyre's ball grazed the side of his opponent, but failed to draw blood.

    Red Cap Tales Samuel Rutherford Crockett
  • If possible, they will not draw blood, even in the smallest degree.

    Talks To Farmers Charles Haddon Spurgeon
  • There are three sorts of people you must not let draw blood; first ignorant and inexperienced persons.

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