blood money


: money obtained at the cost of another's life
: money paid (as by a killer or the killer's clan) to the family of a person who has been killed

Examples of blood money in a Sentence

the blood money earned by people who profited from the tragedy They accepted blood money in exchange for the murderer's execution.
Recent Examples on the Web Her reclusive lifestyle along with the restrictive gender norms of the era and the blood money she was associated with, caused neighbors and the local press to speculate, and legends quickly began to swirl about the mysterious woman and her bewildering house. Hadley Mendelsohn, House Beautiful, 22 June 2023 Reparations are millennia old, created as a way of ending conflict between clans by paying blood money, says Luke Moffett, an expert on reparations and human rights law at Queen’s University Belfast in Northern Ireland. Whitney Eulich, The Christian Science Monitor, 16 June 2023 The blood money had already been amassed into fortunes and palatial estates, and many of Britain’s wealthiest still maintained plantations in the Caribbean that profited from enslaved labor. Nina Metz, Chicago Tribune, 4 May 2023 And former politicians, including those like former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroder and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, hopped from their political perches directly into the pockets of these rising autocrats, becoming the best lobbyists that blood money could buy. Casey Michel, The New Republic, 15 Feb. 2022 The money feels like blood money. Erik Kain, Forbes, 5 Oct. 2021 And, oh yes, to make blood money. Armond White, National Review, 1 Sep. 2021 Payment would be viewed as blood money, an atonement to wash away German sins – and, of course, nothing could ever obviate the evil of the Third Reich. Rabbi Avi Weiss, Sun Sentinel, 23 Jan. 2023 But his top campaign strategist, Jai Chabria, whom Vance’s opioid nonprofit paid $63,000 in 2017, deflected when asked if Vance also thought that Cardinal Health’s donations to Republicans were blood money. Andrew J. Tobias, cleveland, 11 Oct. 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'blood money.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1535, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of blood money was in 1535

Dictionary Entries Near blood money

Cite this Entry

“Blood money.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Apr. 2024.

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