Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Deficient in or lacking blood.
  • adj. Pale and anemic in color: smiled with bloodless lips.
  • adj. Achieved without bloodshed: a bloodless coup.
  • adj. Lacking vivacity or spirit: a long, bloodless speech.
  • adj. Devoid of human emotion or feeling: charts of bloodless economic indicators.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Lacking blood; ashen, anaemic.
  • adj. Taking place without loss of blood.
  • adj. Lacking emotion, passion or vivacity.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Destitute of blood, or apparently so; ; lifeless; dead.
  • adj. Not attended with shedding of blood, or slaughter.
  • adj. Without spirit or activity.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Without blood; drained of blood; dead from loss of blood.
  • Pale or colorless from defect of blood; pallid: as, bloodless lips.
  • Free from bloodshed; unattended by blood: as, a bloodless victory; “with bloodless stroke,”
  • Without spirit or energy.
  • Cold-hearted: as, bloodless charity or ceremony.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. destitute of blood or apparently so
  • adj. devoid of human emotion or feeling
  • adj. without vigor or zest or energy
  • adj. anemic looking from illness or emotion
  • adj. free from blood or bloodshed

Etymologies

From Middle English blodles, from Old English blōdlēas ("bloodless"), equivalent to blood +‎ -less. Cognate with Dutch bloedeloos ("bloodless"), German blutlos ("bloodless"), Danish blodløs ("bloodless"), Swedish blodlös ("bloodless"), Icelandic blóðlaus ("bloodless"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • President of Chile, was presented to the Latin American nations -- his party and his doctrine -- as an example of what they called a bloodless revolution.

    UNIVERSITY SPEECH BLASTS CPR BETRAYAL

  • The country's first free elections 20 years ago this month became known as the bloodless revolution.

    CNN Transcript Jun 20, 2009

  • In A Taste of Armageddon, Kirk and crew actively destroy the systems that allow the planet to engage in bloodless wars.

    The Memory Hole

  • Rome, pick up Prince Charles, put him on the magic carpet, fly to London, clap the Cap of Darkness on him so that nobody can see him, set him down on the throne of his fathers; pick up the Elector, carry him over to his beloved Hanover, and the trick is done -- what they call a bloodless revolution in the history books. "

    Prince Ricardo of Pantouflia being the adventures of Prince Prigio's son

  • Nowhere does it say "bloodless"- in fact, in the example given by Random House, with the history of extreme violence in the days of strikebreakers, there is the clear implication of threats of violence.

    Blackmail and Policy

  • However, a rueful subordinate describes him as "bloodless" - and, certainly, his fame as the late John Paul II's "enforcer" was not unearned.

    The Guardian World News

  • In 2003 with considerable CIA help, Georgia's President Saskashvili came to power in the so-called bloodless "Rose Revolution."

    Using Georgia to Target Russia

  • Fortunately for Fodor, Egier was able to suggest a third option -- so-called bloodless surgery using an experimental blood substitute called Hemolink.

    The Quest For Artificial Blood

  • HARRIS: On the streets of Bangkok, relatively quiet today after what's being called a bloodless coup in Thailand.

    CNN Transcript Sep 20, 2006

  • Officers of Congolese security forces briefly commandeered state radio and TV early Friday in what government ministers called a bloodless failed coup attempt in Congo's capital.

    ANC Daily News Briefing

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