Definition of bleed in English:



  • 1no object Lose blood from the body as a result of injury or illness.

    ‘the cut was bleeding steadily’
    ‘some casualties were left to bleed to death’
    ‘the bleeding has stopped now’
    • ‘Dr Mason then severed two nerves during the second operation, causing severe bleeding to the patient.’
    • ‘Agonising over even the demonstrably dead Afghans bleeding on newspaper front pages does not suit patriotic fervour for this lovely war.’
    • ‘Through the camera pictures, you can see if there's a person lying bleeding or a gunman still present.’
    • ‘And even then, we would continue to bleed slowly from IED attacks and ambushes on a regular basis.’
    • ‘The man, who is in his 20s, suffered internal bleeding and a suspected broken pelvis when the blue Subaru Impreza left the road, hit a fence post and shot down into a field.’
    • ‘Feel free to swim within a half hour of eating, or go into the water with bleeding open wounds.’
    • ‘His clothes were torn and he was bleeding heavily in multiple areas.’
    • ‘In Hill's Western Front context, it might very well be ‘a word which, horribly, blends the bleeding men with the rain and mud’.’
    • ‘How long should they continue to bleed for their unattainable aim?’
    • ‘A heavy blow to the temple from a full alcopop bottle left him bleeding heavily and as he tried to drive off, the group climbed on to his car and attempted to break the windows.’
    • ‘One of the children, a 15-year-old boy, says some of his friends bled and some areas were swollen where the girls had punctured them.’
    • ‘So a dream of bleeding gums would indicate a loss of life force through the suppression of thoughts and feelings, and lack of support for one's decisions.’
    • ‘You know that some group of people will arrive bleeding and broken wearing Viking helmets or the togas of a gospel choir.’
    • ‘It was a shallow burn into my flesh, but enough surface area to make it bleed profusely, and added to that, my veins tend to be very close to the surface of my skin.’
    • ‘If I put pen to paper, I'd pour out all the anger and raw pain that had filled me since Michael had left, I'd rip out the stitches and let my emotions bleed over the page and my guitar.’
    • ‘It is imperative that each side branch of the saphenous vein be identified and bleeding be controlled before division.’
    • ‘It's caused by the lining of the womb appearing in places where it shouldn't outside of the womb but still responding to hormones, growing and bleeding monthly.’
    • ‘He was going for an Xray of his lungs as he'd continued to bleed from his lungs and mouth.’
    • ‘William Golding once wrote that you know you're a writer when you sit and stare at a page until your forehead bleeds.’
    • ‘Several years later, the man named Paldawar would die, bleeding out on the floor of a dirty hotel room in the middle of the night.’
    • ‘The other freed Briton, Mark Covell, 33, remains in an Italian hospital where he is being treated for internal bleeding and broken ribs.’
    • ‘Dazed, he scrambled to his feet and discovered he was bleeding in the chest area.’
    • ‘The area bled when probed, and the adjacent palatal tissue appeared to be folded.’
    • ‘He knew he was bleeding by the wetness seeping down his leg, but he lacked the will to check out his injury.’
    • ‘And they are going to continue bleeding until the next election.’
    • ‘If the operated ear continues to bleed, get yourself examined again to properly assess the condition of the ear.’
    lose blood, haemorrhage
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  • 2with object Draw blood from (someone), especially as a former method of treatment in medicine.

    ‘he didn't bleed his patients with leeches’
    • ‘This painting of a Greek vase, dating from 480-460 BC, depicts a surgeon bleeding his patient.’
    • ‘One sleeve was missing, and his left arm was laced with self-inflicted scars, evidence of his many attempts to bleed himself to death.’
    • ‘There was no need for physicians to bleed residents of this part of Ohio because the mosquitoes did the job.’
    • ‘When the patient recovered consciousness, Rush would examine the pulse and bleed the patient again if necessary.’
    • ‘When no immediate improvement materialised, his doctor bled him more copiously.’
    • ‘He had bled her twice already, in the hopes of relieving her fevered mind, but it had not made any visible difference.’
    • ‘I can bleed her and lance the infection, but's that all.’
    • ‘If the patient is ill, let's bleed him a little more.’
    • ‘But despite the fact that the doctors treated him, bled him, and gave him medicines to drink - he recovered.’
    • ‘He bled me with a clean blade and checked my blood for anything unusual.’
    • ‘It wasn't deep enough to bleed her to death, but enough to sting and ensure she'd scar.’
    • ‘I can just bleed you and make sure that you still have enough to live.’
    • ‘They are like the doctors of old who sincerely believed bleeding the patient was the way to get rid of the disease because that is what their textbooks and wise men told them.’
    • ‘Legend says that he was bled to death by a treacherous nun at Kirklees in Yorkshire.’
    • ‘Indeed individual patients were often bled by 50-60 leeches at the same time and on consecutive days!’
    • ‘It's like treating TB or typhus by bleeding the patient with an unsterilised knife - it's a new century folks.’
    • ‘Freud argued explicitly that, since the mind was constantly being replenished with its mental fluid, the libido, it would have to be bled in much the same way as doctors bled the diseased body.’
    • ‘Patients have bled themselves into anemia and then showed up at a doctor's office stating they haven't a clue about how they became so ill.’
    • ‘The last doctor bled her, but she did not improve.’
    • ‘And even if the doctor lived next door and you could call her, she would only bleed you and put smelly poultices on your forehead to balance your humors.’
    • ‘But Pangloss says this will only happen if he has money because being bled and having an enema require payment.’
    • ‘There were razors in the medicine cabinet that could bleed him out, painkillers behind the mirrored glass that could put him to sleep forever.’
    • ‘The standard treatment for haemochromitosis is for the patient to be bled, to have a pint of blood removed in a method very similar to that of blood donation, at regular intervals.’
    draw blood from
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    1. 2.1informal Drain (someone) of money or resources.
      ‘his policy of attempting to bleed British unions of funds’
      • ‘Its balance of financial and armed clout should give it a longer shelf life than the Soviet Union, whose military establishment bled its command economy to death.’
      • ‘Gilmartin will tell the Flood Tribunal that attempts were made to bleed him for payments in return for political assistance with his ambitious plans.’
      • ‘We must select the competent Iraqi patriot to whom we yield ground while bleeding his competitors.’
      • ‘This may have been efficient in delivering resources to the king but it encouraged tax collectors to bleed taxpayers.’
      • ‘The cost of running all these elections and the challenged elections all return to the union too, so the government attempted to bleed the unions with this legislation.’
      • ‘Part of the process is to bleed us out financially.’
      • ‘Some want to eat them, others just want to bleed them of their money and others wouldn't mind blowing them up out of spite.’
      • ‘‘It's as if they want to cut our throats and slowly bleed us into submission,’ said another bar owner.’
      • ‘They could bleed us very slowly as long as we are willing to put troops in there and keep them there.’
      • ‘Many are fearful that they are being brown bagged and that this is just the first of many new taxes designed to bleed them of all their spare change.’
      • ‘Certainly he's bleeding us to death in terms of money.’
      • ‘For all she knew, that whole ‘dazed’ expression could simply be an act to bleed her of her precious coins.’
      drain, exhaust, sap, deplete, deprive, milk, suck dry, empty, reduce
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  • 3with object Allow (fluid or gas) to escape from a closed system through a valve.

    ‘open the isolating valves and bleed air from the pump chamber’
    • ‘Gas flow to the assimilation chamber was measured by a mass-flow controller, and gas was also bled off to serve as the reference gas for the CO 2 and humidity measurements.’
    • ‘It cannot be over inflated, as there is an overflow valve that bleeds excess air from the system.’
    • ‘Then bleed the air out of the hose, remove the tool and open the regulator to bleed the air in the tank.’
    • ‘Once all were safely inside, air inside of the space yard was bled out, and the huge airlock began to open.’
    • ‘These materials slow setting times, which can delay bleed water, which makes the delayed bleeding due to high air contents more problematic.’
    • ‘The chambers were bled at a rate that would prevent build-up of gases produced in the soil such as ethylene or CO 2.’
    • ‘A gas operating system bleeds gas out of the barrel - usually near the muzzle - and uses it to push an operating rod, or the bolt, to the rear.’
    • ‘The cabin life support system will be designed to bleed cabin air during launch to equalize cabin pressure and ambient pressure up to a specified altitude.’
    • ‘Once ignited, the base burner unit bleeds hot gas which causes the flow of air at the base to be less turbulent.’
    • ‘When turning the water back on in your home, always run the outside hose valve or flush your toilets to bleed dirt and air from the lines.’
    • ‘Dragged backward by the buckle, Jimmy bleeds some air into his dry suit but then finds himself too buoyant so that he ascends and collides with the ice above.’
    • ‘CO 2 was bled into the gas loop as required, beginning 5 h into the photoperiod.’
    • ‘And because there is no air going into the radiators there is no need to bleed them, so they are also likely to last longer.’
    • ‘Then attach a hose, turn the valve on and bleed that line alone.’
    • ‘I was in the process of bleeding the water cooling system when I took this pic - you can still see the tiny air-bubbles.’
    • ‘Trainline reservoir air was bled from inbound railroad cars before they were weighed at #3 or #5 track scales.’
    • ‘It's almost impossible to bleed air from the cooling system, so a special tool should be used to put the system under vacuum before filling.’
    • ‘The gas did not affect any horses, and Billings fire crews monitored the gas fumes while utility crews shut down the line and bled the pressure out of it.’
    • ‘Other heat is bled into injector delivery pipes too - even though carried along the boiler they're hard to thaw; sometimes you need a fusee.’
    • ‘A properly operating hydronic system seldom needs to be bled.’
    1. 3.1 Release fluid or gas from (a closed system) by allowing air to escape through a valve.
      ‘air can be got rid of by bleeding the radiator at the vent’
      • ‘Then bleed the air out of the hose, remove the tool and open the regulator to bleed the air in the tank.’
      • ‘Bleed your water heater every six months or so.’
      • ‘Eventually, we will all need to do some work on our brake system that will result in the need to bleed the system.’
      • ‘How do you bleed the air from brake lines of 2002 Lincoln LS?’
      • ‘Fill the tube with water and bleed the water down using the high bleed on the gauge.’
  • 4no object (of a liquid substance such as dye or colour) seep into an adjacent colour or area.

    ‘I worked loosely with the oils, allowing colours to bleed into one another’
    • ‘What remains as a memory, though the colour has bled away, is the fast scudding of clouds, and the rush of sound over my head, the wind in the trees: as if the waters of life have begun to flow.’
    • ‘In the past, the only contrast was between the grey tinge of the hard-boiled egg and the beetroot dye bleeding all over the plate.’
    • ‘The faux fur was drenched in water and the cheap dye bled on Becca's hands.’
    • ‘When used for the sort of times that might be useful, even at high dilutions, it causes the colour to bleed badly in the wash.’
    • ‘Colors are moderately saturated, though a few of the British redcoats are so bright red that the color bleeds somewhat.’
    • ‘As he works, color emerges as it bleeds from the pencils or graphite.’
    • ‘The color bleeds out of some fabric; and may deposit itself into other fabric.’
    • ‘The colours began to bleed into one another as the shapes lost their form.’
    • ‘My bamboo needles have taken on a reddish hue, so I'm pretty sure the colours will bleed.’
    • ‘When using fresh berries in cakes, you must fold them in very gently so as not to bruise them, which will result in the glorious colour bleeding into the mixture.’
    • ‘As the sun sets, the colour bleeds from the sand until the dunes are ghostly white.’
    • ‘But this bulletproof, bullheaded mind-set may bleed over into other areas of life.’
    • ‘He sets the world of his movie right beside the world of Nosferatu - so much so that you scarcely notice when the colour bleeds out and the original film takes over.’
    • ‘The dye should easily bleed from one sheet to the next.’
    • ‘After they finished each color, they put tape in between each section, so that the colors wouldn't bleed into each other.’
    • ‘Information technology continues to improve exponentially, and this progress bleeds over into adjacent fields such as genetics, robotics and nanotechnology.’
    • ‘The reactive dye process is permanent; the colors will not bleed or fade.’
    • ‘In the event that too ambitious trimming results in bleeding, styptic powder should be applied to the wounded nail.’
    • ‘She often employs a scraping treatment that qualifies color by allowing the underlying areas to bleed through.’
    • ‘I heard that the color red bleeds in Saturday Night Fever, but that they had cleaned it up for this transfer.’
    flow, run, ooze, seep, trickle, leak, filter, percolate, escape, leach
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    1. 4.1Printing (with reference to an illustration or design) print or be printed so that it runs off the page after trimming.
      ‘the picture bleeds on three sides’
      • ‘Oprah likes pictures that bleed off the page and are in-your-face.’


  • 1An instance of bleeding.

    ‘a lot of blood was lost from the placental bleed’
    • ‘It was the evidence of all the other experts in the case that in most instances subdural bleeds could be explained as being a reaction to mechanical forces.’
    • ‘If you are on the pill you do not expect to be pregnant, and you will probably still have a period-like bleed in your pill-free week.’
    • ‘‘When my friends got their meningitis shot I told them that is what a muscle bleed feels like for me,’ she said.’
    • ‘Experts say there is no need to abstain unless there is a history of miscarriage or the woman has experienced a bleed.’
    • ‘The victim's condition is still described as serious as he remains in a hospital induced coma following a bleed in the brain.’
    • ‘Buoyed by the results, Trudi is continuing her intensive rehabilitation and exercise programme following a brain bleed near the end of last year.’
    • ‘Headaches occasionally, but not often, arise from serious problems like a tumor or a bleed into the brain.’
    • ‘Pathologist Dr Adam Coumbe gave the cause of death as pontine haemorrhage, a bleed in the base of the brain.’
    • ‘A post-mortem found the baby's death was due to a bleed resulting from a trauma he suffered in the traffic accident.’
    • ‘The former Trowbridge schoolboy and well-known football player died less than a week later on February 8 from a fatal bleed to the brain.’
    • ‘And if you have got some bleeds and your doctor feels that it is time to do something about it, you go in and you get a laser treatment, and it is not the end of the world.’
    • ‘One of these brings on a withdrawal bleed, the other does not.’
    • ‘Doctors later found she had suffered a small bleed in her head which has affected mobility on her right side but specialists are pleased with her progress.’
    • ‘The married man with three children believes he contracted the virus from a contaminated clotting agent used to treat a leg bleed in 1985.’
    • ‘But a few days later things took a turn for the worst when Susan suffered a heavy bleed.’
    • ‘Haemophiliacs need to inject themselves two or three times a week with clotting concentrates for bleeds.’
    • ‘He has now begun suffering spontaneous bleeds.’
    • ‘Some strokes are due to a bleed from a vessel in the brain rather than a clot.’
    • ‘Bleeds in the central nervous system, gastrointestinal tract, neck and throat are major bleeds or dangerous bleeds and should be taken seriously.’
    • ‘Most bleeding problems are clinically minor, although patients are unlikely to view such bleeds in these terms.’
  • 2mass noun The escape of fluid or gas from a closed system through a valve.

    ‘check the amount of air bleed from the compressor’
    as modifier ‘open the bleed valve’
    • ‘The air bleed in the ballast tank facilitated maintenance of a constant pressure.’
    • ‘We narrowed our search to the air-conditioning system, specifically, the left bleed air feeding the system.’
    • ‘You'll have to install the radiator next, followed by the pump and fill and bleed kit.’
    • ‘A bleed orifice may be disposed between the directional control valve and the source of fluid, in parallel with the check valve.’
    • ‘Our No. 1 bleed-leak light illuminated, so we secured the No. 1 bleed system.’
    • ‘Was it on the wing, and was hot bleed air blowing on the fuel tank?’
    • ‘Now, open the bleed valve and the control valve, the one used to turn it on and off, until water starts to splutter from the bleed valve.’
    • ‘Our opinion is that the elongated voids and channels were caused by trapped bleed water.’
    • ‘The checklist says to shut them down one at a time using the fire light, and then restart using bleed air from the operating engine.’
    • ‘Some bleed holes appeared causing some of the retarder to run.’
    • ‘One of those two bleed holes will always be upright, no matter which lever is on the right and left.’
    • ‘Implant failures are characterized by their degree of severity: silicone bleed, leak, and frank rupture.’
    • ‘The bleed air duct light remained on following shutdown, potentially indicating a very serious aircraft malfunction.’
    • ‘We shut down the engine a second time, isolated bleed air from the right wing, and pressed on for another three-engine landing at home plate.’
    • ‘This, plus one litre of distilled water (not included) are to be mixed before starting the fill and bleed process.’
    • ‘So as gravity pulls the aggregates downward, bleed water comes to the surface.’
    • ‘Imprints in the bottom surface of the delamination represent entrapped bleed water.’
    • ‘On a daily basis check that the claw air bleeds are clear.’
    • ‘The bleed valve is located at the top end of the radiator and at one end of the baseboard convector.’
    • ‘This condition would have been intolerable, requiring the execution of the boldface procedures and shutting down all bleed air in the aircraft.’
  • 3Printing
    An instance of printing an illustration or design so as to leave no margin after the page has been trimmed.

    ‘the picture has an unfortunate bleed’
    • ‘In the book's presentation, the images appear in size from full-page bleeds to roughly the dimension of a passport photo.’
    • ‘She opened it to a full bleed picture of the reverend himself and showed Frank the elaborate signature.’
    • ‘Oh well, at least you got a full bleed photo that wasn't a handrail.’
    • ‘Just been watching Steve Jobs' Macworld Keynote speech, iPhoto was just simplicity itself and the demo of iPhoto book with 10-50 full page bleeds was just awesome.’
    1. 3.1mass noun The seeping of a dye or colour into an adjacent colour or area.
      ‘colour bleed is apparent on brighter hues’
      • ‘The film uses a great deal of blacks and shadows and they come through solid with no bleed or shimmer whatsoever.’
      • ‘Overcast the cut edges so they don't fray, then toss the item in the machine by itself in case of colour bleed.’
      • ‘Nighttime scenes are solid with great shadow delineation and there is almost zero bleed.’
      • ‘He uses effects to create upsetting organic images a la David Fincher, though where Fincher uses dirty yellows and negative bleeds, Cunningham uses steely grays and lens flares.’
      • ‘Black levels are beautifully presented with no bleed or shimmer apparent.’
      • ‘You no more need to be terrified about washing your new outfits for the fear of colour bleed.’
      • ‘Contrast is always strong and for a movie where everything takes place at night, blacks are dead-on solid with no bleed or shimmer.’
      • ‘Nighttime scenes and shadows have great depth with no signs of bleed or shimmer.’
      • ‘One place shows a bit of shimmer and another place has a slight color bleed; but if you weren't looking intently for it you'd never notice.’
      • ‘Colors and fleshtones are natural looking, detail is sharp with no edge enhancement and blacks are solid with zero bleed.’
      • ‘More annoying, however, is the color bleed in the reds and blue in certain shots, especially during the fire sequences.’
      • ‘And all of the nighttime and shadowy sequences are solid with zero bleed or shimmer.’
      • ‘Almost every shot has degradation, pixelation, shimmering, or even color bleed.’
      • ‘Colors are bright and well within their ranges, no noticeable bleed in the reds or blues.’
      • ‘All of the blacks and shadows used in the film were solid with no bleed but again, there was a certain degree of detail missing.’
      • ‘The picture quality is about what you would expect for TV broadcast: a little grain, but no major color bleed.’
      • ‘Video quality is uniformly solid, though some videos are overly bright, with some examples of minor edge degradation and color bleed.’
      • ‘In the 14 Stations of the Cross, painted between 1958 and 1966, you get delicate strokes of black which contrast with the crisp margins of zips - some animated by bleeds at the edge.’
      • ‘Blacks are black and stay solid at all times with no bleed or shimmer.’
      • ‘Blacks are solid, with no bleed or shimmer, while shadow detail has great clarity and depth.’


  • bleed someone/something dry (or white)

    • Drain someone or something of wealth or resources.

      ‘this car has been bleeding me dry’
      ‘the industry had been bled dry by piracy’
      • ‘Argan's woes are further added to by his scheming wife and her attempts to bleed him dry of his fortune.’
      • ‘The payday lenders are analogous to drug dealers, addicting their clients, then bleeding them dry, and ultimately leaving behind blighted communities.’
      • ‘Meanwhile, the studio is bleeding you dry in distribution charges because, no matter how unfair it is, you can't get the 2,000 screens you need without them.’
      • ‘I think we are top-heavy and the Government is bleeding us dry.’
      • ‘If the forces immediately outside London are bled dry as a result of an attempt to switch finance from one part of the country to another, ultimately, the risks of doing that will be enormous.’
      • ‘The attorney said that they bled Limbaugh dry, but also said the money involved was ‘about several hundred thousand dollars’.’
      • ‘Then he says Joseph had stated he intended to ‘bleed Mr McKenna dry’, before noting that during the case some of Joseph's editorial board resigned.’
      • ‘She went on to say that if the only reason for opening another pub was to make money then considerate Ireland was dead and gone because it had been bled dry through a desire for making money.’
      • ‘‘Sabena has bled Swissair dry,’ said a European airline analysts.’
      • ‘Apparently she is nicknamed ‘the vampire’ for eating up millionaires, bleeding them dry and spitting them out again.’’
      • ‘These SOBs use any excuse to bleed physicians dry and you have no recourse to fight because it is their game with their rules.’
      • ‘I didn't hear a peep for hours - enabling me to sit at my kitchen table and count all the precious pennies I had saved by not taking them to any of those places that bleed you dry from the moment you arrive.’
      • ‘Eighteen years' chronic underinvestment in our public services and infrastructures has bled Wales dry.’
      • ‘The Chancellor's annual £5bn raid on pension funds has bled them white, significantly contributing to the pensions crisis.’
      • ‘It's nice to tell immigrants to stay away while you bleed their home countries dry of natural resources and support corrupt governments.’
      • ‘There is a question that is always asked at this point: Why did the Soviet Union, bled white by the hard war against Germany, actively participate in the rout of Japan?’
      • ‘Water bosses are not the only ones bleeding us dry.’
      • ‘But what it wants most of all is an immediate federal cap on wholesale electricity price rises so that all those Texan power companies bleeding California dry can be stopped.’
      • ‘Meanwhile, Uncle Junior's defense team is bleeding him dry in his upcoming Rico trial.’
      • ‘What we did not know was that our hard-earned money was used to propup the pariahs who were bleeding this country dry.’
      • ‘Once you've hooked them then you can bleed them dry by selling the high-margin component of the product.’
      • ‘She's one of the best, but she'll try to bleed us dry.’
      • ‘I don't have all the answers, nor do I have the money for the council tax which is bleeding us all dry.’
      • ‘They will bleed us dry in subsidies and legitimise a lot of the riff-raff coming here in the back of lorries.’
      • ‘This meant bleeding public services dry and crushing the hopes that people had that ‘things would get better’.’
      • ‘They were the men who took money off him, who bled him dry.’
  • my heart bleeds (for you)

    • Used ironically to imply that the person referred to does not deserve the sympathetic response they are seeking.

      ‘‘I flew out here feeling tired and overworked.’ ‘My heart bleeds for you!’ she replied’
      • ‘Oh how my heart bleeds for those poor workers that got nearly all their ‘entitlements’ courtesy of the taxpayer after years in a union-sheltered workshop.’
      • ‘Aw, bless you poor thing, my heart just bleeds, love!’
      • ‘I mean, your heart just bleeds for the chap in the photograph, doesn't it?’
      • ‘Well, my heart bleeds over a journalist complaining about someone else only printing half the story.’
      grieve, ache, sorrow, be sorrowful, be sad, mourn, be mournful, be distressed, be in distress, be miserable, lament, feel, suffer, agonize, anguish, be in anguish
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Old English blēdan, of Germanic origin; related to blood.