blood·​let·​ting ˈbləd-ˌle-tiŋ How to pronounce bloodletting (audio)
: elimination of personnel or resources
: severe criticism
Take the English, the undisputed champions at verbal bloodletting.Bill Ott
: a harsh verbal or written attack
But what makes "Cinderella & Company" more than just a book-length bloodletting is Hoelterhoff's unexpected sympathy for most of the singers about whom she writes.Terry Teachout

Examples of bloodletting in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Putin just might seize the opportunity to stanch the bloodletting and try to bring Russia in from the cold. Richard Haass and Charles Kupchan, Foreign Affairs, 17 Nov. 2023 Also, California’s Democratic Party will avoid unnecessary bloodletting. George Skelton, Los Angeles Times, 30 Oct. 2023 None was willing to entertain the idea that anyone but Israel was at fault for the Gaza bloodletting. Nabih Bulos, Los Angeles Times, 18 Oct. 2023 The images of fear and bloodletting, of ecstatic attack and capture, guarantee that October 7, 2023, will become an indelible tragedy in Jewish history. David Remnick, The New Yorker, 9 Oct. 2023 The autofill suggestions from search engines Google and Yandex conveyed the intrigue: Putin publicly ordered military prosecutors to look into how Russian army conscripts ended up being sent into Ukraine, fueling expectations of a political bloodletting. Washington Post, 8 May 2022 In a world full of glossy fakery, its self-vandalizing, clown-school bloodletting was the genuine article. Elizabeth Nelson, The New Yorker, 21 Sep. 2023 In the vast bloodletting, these are just two more lives. Shawna Seed, Dallas News, 19 Sep. 2023 The question being asked by cultural historians, cinephiles and plain ordinary film fans is why TCM had to be part of the bloodletting. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, 29 June 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'bloodletting.' 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

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of bloodletting was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near bloodletting

Cite this Entry

“Bloodletting.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


blood·​let·​ting ˈbləd-ˌlet-iŋ How to pronounce bloodletting (audio)
: the opening of a vein for the purpose of drawing blood

Medical Definition


blood·​let·​ting -ˌlet-iŋ How to pronounce bloodletting (audio)

More from Merriam-Webster on bloodletting

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