Definitions

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

  • noun Bloodshed.
  • noun The removal of blood, usually from a vein, as a therapeutic measure.
  • noun The laying off of personnel or the elimination of resources.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In medicine, the act of letting blood or bleeding by opening a vein, as a remedial measure in the treatment of disease; phlebotomy.

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

  • noun (Med.) 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.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun The archaic practice of treating illness by removing some blood, believed to be tainted, from the stricken person.
  • noun By extension, the diminishment of any resource with the hope that this will lead to a positive effect.
  • noun A circumstance such as a battle where a large amount of blood is likely to be spilled through violence.

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

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

Etymologies

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