What does bloodletting mean?

Definitions for bloodletting
ˈblʌdˌlɛt ɪŋblood·let·ting

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word bloodletting.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. bloodlettingnoun

    formerly used as a treatment to reduce excess blood (one of the four humors of medieval medicine)

  2. bloodbath, bloodletting, bloodshed, battuenoun

    indiscriminate slaughter

    "a bloodbath took place when the leaders of the plot surrendered"; "ten days after the bloodletting Hitler gave the action its name"; "the valley is no stranger to bloodshed and murder"; "a huge prison battue was ordered"


  1. bloodlettingnoun

    The archaic practice of treating illness by removing some blood, believed to be tainted, from the stricken person.

  2. bloodlettingnoun

    By extension, the diminishment of any resource with the hope that this will lead to a positive effect.

  3. bloodlettingnoun

    A circumstance such as a battle where a large amount of blood is likely to be spilled through violence.


  1. bloodletting

    Bloodletting is an ancient medical practice where blood is drawn from a patient to improve their health, often used to prevent or cure a wide range of illnesses and diseases. This is typically done by cutting into a vein or applying leeches to the skin. Nowadays, this practice is considered dated and ineffective, but is still used in some traditional or alternative medicines.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Bloodlettingnoun

    the act or process of letting blood or bleeding, as by opening a vein or artery, or by cupping or leeches; -- esp. applied to venesection


  1. Bloodletting

    Bloodletting is the withdrawal of often small quantities of blood from a patient to cure or prevent illness and disease. Bloodletting was based on an ancient system of medicine in which blood and other bodily fluid were regarded as "humors" that had to remain in proper balance to maintain health. It was the most common medical practice performed by physicians from antiquity until the late 19th century, a span of almost 2,000 years. The practice has now been abandoned for all except a few very specific conditions. It is conceivable that historically, in the absence of other treatments for hypertension, bloodletting could sometimes have had a beneficial effect in temporarily reducing blood pressure by reducing blood volume. However, since hypertension is very often asymptomatic and thus undiagnosable without modern methods, this effect was unintentional. In the overwhelming majority of cases, the historical use of bloodletting was harmful to patients. Today, the term phlebotomy refers to the drawing of blood for laboratory analysis or blood transfusion. Therapeutic phlebotomy refers to the drawing of a unit of blood in specific cases like hemochromatosis, polycythemia vera, porphyria cutanea tarda, etc., to reduce the amount of red blood cells.

U.S. National Library of Medicine

  1. Bloodletting

    Puncture of a vein to draw blood for therapeutic purposes. Bloodletting therapy has been used in Talmudic and Indian medicine since the medieval time, and was still practiced widely in the 18th and 19th centuries. Its modern counterpart is PHLEBOTOMY.

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  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of bloodletting in Chaldean Numerology is: 3

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of bloodletting in Pythagorean Numerology is: 9

Examples of bloodletting in a Sentence

  1. Terry Madonna:

    Look at it from their point of view – they’re struggling for name recognition and identity with the voters. Meanwhile the party is going to say enough – we don’t want the bloodletting.

  2. Matt Smith:

    This will stabilize things a bit. It will slow the bloodletting, but it's absolutely not enough to rebalance the market.

  3. Lindsey Graham:

    I’m afraid you’d have bloodletting.

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Translations for bloodletting

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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"bloodletting." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 7 Dec. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/bloodletting>.

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    any of a class of organic compounds containing the cyano radical -CN
    • A. nitrile
    • B. concoction
    • C. snap
    • D. anil

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