from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A sharp instrument used to open a vein, to lance gums, or the like.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A sharp instrument used for opening veins, lancing gums, etc.; a kind of lancet.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In surgery and farriery, a sharp instrument for lancing the gums or for opening veins in bloodletting; a lancet; in the most restricted sense, a form of spring-lancet.
  • n. In heraldry, a bearing thought by some to represent the farriers' lancet, but more probably a builders' cramp of iron, whence often called crampon.
  • n. Same as phlegm.
  • n. A river; a stream.
  • n. A water-course; a trench or drain.


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old French flieme ("open vein"), from Late Latin phlebotomus, from Ancient Greek φλεβοτόμον (phlebotomon).



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  • it's here:

    January 9, 2009

  • When he was laid upon the grass and turned from side to side, a great quantity of water ran out at his mouth, then he opened his eyes, and fetched a deep sigh. Clinker perceiving these signs of life, immediately tied up his arm with a garter, and, pulling out a horse-fleam, let him blood in the farrier stile.

    - Smollett, The Expedition of Humphry Clinker (Melford to Phillips), 1771

    January 9, 2009

  • A veterinarian's bleeding tool. See a picture here.

    April 19, 2007