Definition of bloodletting in English:



mass noun
  • 1historical The surgical removal of some of a patient's blood for therapeutic purposes.

    • ‘Then, your doctor might have recommended such treatments as bloodletting or taking dangerous doses of sulfur and mercury.’
    • ‘But the range of surgical expertise dealt largely with the surface of the body: for example cautery, bloodletting, and draining boils and abscesses.’
    • ‘There has been a health care crisis since we were bloodletting.’
    • ‘Today, many medical practices such as bloodletting are no longer used.’
    • ‘There are medieval scenes of bloodletting, and of doctors cauterising patients' piles, polyps, and even cataracts (ouch).’
  • 2The violent killing and wounding of people during a war or conflict.

    ‘gang members have halted their internecine bloodletting’
    • ‘Tragic as all this violence and bloodletting is, even I am starting to have trouble distinguishing these reports from one another, day after day.’
    • ‘Going by the rage and anger that the assassination has sparked, the world should brace itself for more violence and bloodletting.’
    • ‘Someone must stop it, someone has to, or it shall all end in a violent storm of bloodletting.’
    • ‘Both societies have a mixed history that included periods of peaceful, cooperative politics and periods of violence and bloodletting.’
    • ‘And the surreal and brutal slaughter, violence and bloodletting equals the Crusades.’
    slaughter, slaying, killing, carnage, butchery, massacre, murder, bloodbath, gore, pogrom, genocide
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1 Bitter division and quarrelling within an organization.
      ‘the consequences for the party of new bloodletting’
      • ‘But, unplanned, they can also trigger a bout of internal party bloodletting.’
      • ‘But industry watchers believe the bloodletting isn't over.’
      • ‘They will be hoping to choose a candidate early in the primary season, and with limited bloodletting.’
      • ‘The bloodletting at the organisation, which employs 6,000 people across the country, follows a report which was highly critical of the corporation.’
      • ‘Sure, they showed division, open animosities and public bloodletting.’