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

  • n. See phlebotomy.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Phlebotomy.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The act or operation of opening a vein for letting blood; bloodletting; phlebotomy.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Bloodletting from a vein; phlebotomy.

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

  • n. surgical incision into a vein; used to treat hemochromatosis


New Latin vēnae sectiō : Latin vēnae, genitive sing. of vēna, vein + Latin sectiō, sectiōn-, cutting; see section.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)


  • The nomination of course falls to him, and the doctor being called, declares the necessity of immediate venesection, which is accordingly performed by a surgeon of the association.

    The Adventures of Ferdinand Count Fathom — Complete

  • The employment of means for arresting the flow of blood -- such as venesection, opium, &c.

    An Epitome of Practical Surgery, for Field and Hospital.

  • To treat malaria, military physicians normally recommended venesection - draining 20 ounces of blood, about 10 percent of an adult's supply - sometimes supplementing that with doses of mercury or opium, and in one case applying freshly killed pigeons to the soles of patients 'feet.

    Malarial mosquitoes helped defeat British in battle that ended Revolutionary War

  • These measures did no good but surely did less harm than venesection or a swig of mercury.

    Malarial mosquitoes helped defeat British in battle that ended Revolutionary War

  • “In the course of explaining the opinion of the divine Hippocrates and Galen,” he wrote in a letter, “I happened to delineate the veins on a chart, thinking that thus I might be able easily to demonstrate what Hippocrates understood by the expression και ιειυ, for you know how much dissension and controversy on venesection was stirred up, even among the learned.”

    The Emperor of All Maladies

  • It was also thought that venesection should be avoided in hot or cold weather and during a full moon, as the body tended to be at a weaker state during this time. 67 Esteyneffer warned his readers that "violent" purges and vomits, as well as copious bleedings, should always be approached with great prudence.

    Pestilence and Headcolds: Encountering Illness in Colonial Mexico

  • Although normally performed by venesection, or the cutting of a vein, in some cases other techniques, such as cupping, applying leeches, cautery, or blistering might be called for. 59

    Pestilence and Headcolds: Encountering Illness in Colonial Mexico

  • When the pains in these regions do not cease, either with the discharge of the sputa, nor with alvine evacuations, nor from venesection, purging with medicine, nor a suitable regimen, it is to be held that they will terminate in suppurations.

    The Book Of Prognostics

  • When the loins are in a tetanic state, and the spirits in the veins are obstructed by melancholic humors, venesection will afford relief.

    On Regimen In Acute Diseases

  • Strangury and dysuria are cured by drinking pure wine, and venesection; open the vein on the inside.



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  • "Rush proposed to reduce this convulsive action by 'depletion,' i.e. venesection—bleeding."
    —John M. Barry, The Great Influenza (NY: Penguin Books, 2004), 21

    February 11, 2009