blood·​let·​ting | \ ˈbləd-ˌle-tiŋ How to pronounce bloodletting (audio) \

Definition of bloodletting

2 : bloodshed
3 : elimination of personnel or resources
4 : 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

The bloodletting contrasts with nascent peace efforts between Myanmar’s military and armed rebel groups elsewhere, mainly along the rugged borders with Thailand and China. Jon Emont, WSJ, "Buddhist Violence Portends New Threat to Myanmar," 4 Jan. 2019 Despite the gesture, community activists say the bloodletting will only stop when there is real, meaningful change. Barnini Chakraborty, Fox News, "Chicago's children caught in the crossfire: Alarming number of minors shot or killed in violence-plagued city," 31 Aug. 2018 The bloodletting between Live Nation and AEG has grown fierce in recent years and rippled through the industry. Ben Sisario And Graham Bowley, New York Times, "Live Nation Rules Music Ticketing, Some Say With Threats," 1 Apr. 2018 The public bout of political bloodletting gripped the country for days. David Winning, WSJ, "A Battle for the Soul of Conservatism Plays Out in Australia," 24 Aug. 2018 The book, whose cover shows a baby doll with a partially removed scalp, includes depictions of bloodletting. Marisa Gerber,, "'A slow, excruciating, painful death': Graphic novelist convicted in fiancee's grisly 2016 slaying," 20 June 2018 Debris from the attack — the worst single act of bloodletting during the now four-year-old Ukraine war — was strewn over a wide area. Alan Cowell, New York Times, "Russia ‘Accountable’ for Downed Airliner, Australia and Netherlands Say," 25 May 2018 The 'people's issues' After so much bloodletting and squandered opportunity, though, Iraqis have seen their latest demon ISIS largely vanquished, and security and intelligence services rebuilt and increasingly effective. Scott Peterson, The Christian Science Monitor, "In Baghdad, Iraqis embrace return to normalcy, with eye on its fragility," 7 May 2018 Meanwhile, the war grinds on, with no sign that the bloodletting could end anytime soon. David L. Stern, Washington Post, "War in eastern Ukraine now seems a distant storm to Kiev," 26 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bloodletting.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of bloodletting

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

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

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English Language Learners Definition of bloodletting

: the former practice of taking some blood out of the bodies of sick people to heal them
: the practice of causing someone to bleed as part of a religious ceremony
: the killing of people


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

Medical Definition of bloodletting

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Britannica English: Translation of bloodletting for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about bloodletting

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