from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The fluid consisting of plasma, blood cells, and platelets that is circulated by the heart through the vertebrate vascular system, carrying oxygen and nutrients to and waste materials away from all body tissues.
  • noun A similar fluid in animals other than vertebrates.
  • noun The juice or sap of certain plants.
  • noun A vital or animating force; lifeblood.
  • noun One of the four humors of ancient and medieval physiology, identified with the blood found in blood vessels, and thought to cause cheerfulness.
  • noun Bloodshed; murder.
  • noun Temperament or disposition.
  • noun Descent from a common ancestor; parental lineage.
  • noun Family relationship; kinship.
  • noun Descent from noble or royal lineage.
  • noun Recorded descent from purebred stock.
  • noun National or racial ancestry.
  • noun A dandy.
  • transitive verb To give (a hunting dog) its first taste of blood.
  • transitive verb To subject (troops) to experience under fire.
  • transitive verb To initiate by subjecting to an unpleasant or difficult experience.
  • idiom (bad blood) Long-standing animosity.
  • idiom (in cold blood) Deliberately, coldly, and dispassionately.
  • idiom (in (one's) blood) So characteristic as to seem inherited or passed down by family tradition.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To let blood from; bleed by opening a vein.
  • To stain with blood.
  • Hence To give a taste of blood; inure to the sight of blood.
  • To heat the blood of; excite; exasperate.
  • To victimize; extract money from (a person); bleed.
  • noun In animal-breeding, and by analogy in plant-breeding, the peculiar character of an individual conceived as transmissible.
  • noun The fluid which circulates in the arteries and veins.
  • noun . Blood that is shed; bloodshed; slaughter; murder.
  • noun The responsibility or guilt of shedding the blood of others.
  • noun From being popularly regarded as the fluid in which more especially the life resides, as the seat of feelings, passions, hereditary qualities, etc., the word blood has come to be used typically, or with certain associated ideas, in a number of different ways.
  • noun Fleshly nature; the carnal part of man, as opposed to the spiritual nature or divine life.
  • noun Temper of mind; natural disposition; high spirit; mettle; passion; anger: in this sense often accompanied with cold or warm, or other qualifying word. Thus, to commit an act in cold blood is to do it deliberately and without sudden passion. Hot or warm blood denotes a temper inflamed or irritated; to warm or heat the blood is to excite the passions.
  • noun A man of fire or spirit; a hot spark; a rake.
  • noun Persons of any specified race, nationality, or family, considered collectively.
  • noun Birth; extraction; parentage; breed; absolutely, high birth; good extraction: often qualified by such adjectives as good, base, etc.
  • noun One who inherits the blood of another; child; collectively, offspring; progeny.
  • noun Relationship by descent from a common ancestor; consanguinity; lineage; kindred; family.
  • noun That which resembles blood; the juice of anything, especially if red: as, “the blood of grapes,” Gen. xlix. 11.
  • noun A disease in cattle.
  • noun A commercial name for red coral.
  • noun Offspring; progeny; child or children: as, one's own flesh and blood should be preferred to strangers.
  • noun To be put to death.
  • In leather-coloring, to apply a coating of blood to, in order to obtain a good black.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb obsolete To bleed.
  • transitive verb Archaic To stain, smear or wet, with blood.
  • transitive verb To give (hounds or soldiers) a first taste or sight of blood, as in hunting or war.
  • transitive verb obsolete To heat the blood of; to exasperate.


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

[Middle English blod, from Old English blōd; see bhel- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Middle English blod, Old English blōd, Proto-Germanic *blōþan, of uncertain origin. Cognate with West Frisian bloed, Dutch bloed, German Blut, Danish blod, Swedish blod.


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word blood.


  • Through transubstantiation, the bread and wine consumed by worshipers become the body and blood of Jesus when a priest, acting on Jesus’ behalf, speaks the words “This is my body” and “This is my blood” over them.

    transubstantiation 2002

  • The influence which can be exercised on these tissues is exercised through the blood which nourishes all of them alike, and which has the wonderful capacity of carrying to each of them their necessary building and rebuilding, or regenerating materials, -- _provided, of course, that these are, as they should be, present in the blood_.

    Valere Aude Dare to Be Healthy, Or, The Light of Physical Regeneration Louis Dechmann

  • But they reveal not the secrets of the place, which are known to but One, from whose eye no dark dells or earth-emboweled caves can hide the transgressor; and the tears, the sighs, the blood -- aye, the _blood_ -- of that solitary cavern are all known to Him, are all put down by the recording angel in the archives of heaven.

    Eveline Mandeville The Horse Thief Rival Alvin Addison

  • Then he said, in a loud voice, "The restoration of Poland requires blood -- blood, and again, _blood_!"

    Napoleon and the Queen of Prussia F. [Translator] Jordan

  • These tissues are dependent directly upon the condition and contents of the blood, whose office it is to nourish them and which exhibits the wonderful property of conveying to each tissue its selective regenerative materials, _provided of course, that these elements are present at the time in the blood_.

    Valere Aude Dare to Be Healthy, Or, The Light of Physical Regeneration Louis Dechmann

  • "This is my blood of the New Testament_;" or "_the New Testament in my blood_."

    The Way of Salvation in the Lutheran Church 1887

  • "Excep '-- a large patch o' blood -- _fresh blood_ -- I touched it -- on one of them ole sacks lyin 'near the cart," said Halsey slowly.

    Harvest Humphry Ward 1885

  • That the body (which is received and eaten,) is the _proper_ and _natural body_ (der rechte natuerliche Leib) of Christ, _which hung upon the cross; _ and the blood (which is drunk) is the _proper_ and _natural blood_ (das rechte natuerliche Blut) _which flowed from the side of Christ_. '

    American Lutheranism Vindicated; or, Examination of the Lutheran Symbols, on Certain Disputed Topics Including a Reply to the Plea of Rev. W. J. Mann 1836

  • America have arisen from our blood and tears: -- and will they drive us from our property and homes, which we have earned with our _blood_?

    Walker's Appeal, with a Brief Sketch of His Life And Also Garnet's Address to the Slaves of the United States of America David Walker 1807

  • _ [377] Christ tried many: he was baptised out of his love, and his love determined not there; he mingled blood with water in his agony, and that determined not his love; he wept pure blood, all his blood at all his eyes, at all his pores, in his flagellation and thorns (_to the Lord our God belonged the issues of blood_), and these expressed, but these did not quench his love.

    Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions Together with Death's Duel John Donne 1601

  • What Keene is referring to is the increasing practice of tribal nations to move away from blood quantum, where a potential tribal member must show a defined fraction of Indian blood, toward what’s known as descendancy enrollment.

    Actual Native Americans Have More to Worry About Than Warren's DNA Debra Utacia Krol 2018


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • Of all possible results to place at number two (down from number one last night), image search comes up with a still from a pornographic/horror film called Blood Lake. I think WeirdNet must have got it into its clutches.

    October 9, 2008

  • found in award-winning hangover soup, along with some fuzzy-looking organ, the fuzz thereof being--as it turns out--a great conduit for dipping sauce

    July 18, 2009

  • Yuck. I would thank you for the link, but it made me sick.

    July 18, 2009

  • It makes me the opposite of sick, whatever that is. Healthy! That's what that pic makes me. YUM!

    July 18, 2009

  • the soup LOOKS pretty innocuous, I think. if that 'blood pudding' caption wasn't there, it could easily be miso or something

    July 18, 2009

  • I'm going to disregard yarb's comment for the sake of my half-digested breakfast. And you're probably right, madmouth, about the caption. It reminds me of a Filipino dish (the name escapes me) of pork, cooked in its own blood that's used for sauce.

    July 18, 2009

  • It looked good to me. I didn't read the caption and figured it was just soup. :)

    July 18, 2009

  • Ok. That's it. You're all certifiably insane!! I may have a delicate palette, but that's just-

    July 18, 2009

  • this reminds me of kosher law, which is said to have arisen as a prohibition against the popular Egyptian dish of calf cooked in its mother's milk. it's ALL cultural; I've seen Koreans, who enjoy lots of live seafood--the highest mark of freshness being a fish, filleted, whose gills are still working when it's placed on the table--make a retching face at the notion of Portuguese salted cod eye on toast. the sense of the yuck is full of contradictions instilled by one's cultural environment. I mean, are cow muscles and cow blood so very different?

    July 18, 2009

  • I have to admit, you have a point about the culture. Thank God for cultural diversity then! 8) But for the record, cow muscle is VERY different from cow blood, maybe psychological, but still...

    July 18, 2009

  • I think you meant to say palate. And I take umbrage at being called insane for liking soup. Umbrage, I say!

    (Note: See marathon of phony umbrage taking.)

    July 18, 2009

  • Yes, must excuse my spelling. It has always been atrocious. And I take umbrage at you taking umbrage. *sulkily folds arms and turns back, pouting*

    July 19, 2009

  • it's a cliche to say it, but the sanitized steak in plastic wrap has separated the North American imagination from what meat is, from the gruesomeness of muscle. strangely, blood, when it's cooked, loses its scary aspect; it congeals into the form of a piece of liver.

    July 19, 2009

  • I am not sure if I hate the meaning or the sound of the word more. Ick! :-(

    February 6, 2010

  • Oh, ew. The Century has given us this gem: "In leather-coloring, to apply a coating of blood to, in order to obtain a good black."

    December 2, 2021

  • (No mention of using soup as a dye for leather, though.)

    December 2, 2021

  • Citation on cudgel-playing.

    January 17, 2022