blood·​shed | \ ˈbləd-ˌshed How to pronounce bloodshed (audio) \

Definition of bloodshed

1 : the shedding of blood
2 : the taking of life : slaughter

Examples of bloodshed in a Sentence

Years of violence and bloodshed have left much of the country in ruins.
Recent Examples on the Web As a day of violence and mayhem at the Capitol slid into evening last month, with bloodshed, glass shattered and democracy besieged, President Donald Trump posted a message on Twitter that seemed to celebrate the moment. Peter Baker, Star Tribune, "Analysis: House managers aim arguments at nation and history," 11 Feb. 2021 The split between company responses shows how U.S. executives are still grappling with the recent political bloodshed and its ripple effects across the corporate landscape., "Lawmakers who objected to election results have been cut off from 20 of their 30 biggest corporate PAC donors," 19 Jan. 2021 Jace’s killing shocked a community long plagued with gun violence and bloodshed and spurred urgent calls for justice from city leaders including Mayor London Breed and Supervisor Shamann Walton. Megan Cassidy,, "SFPD arrests suspect in slaying of 6-year-old Jace Young," 7 Jan. 2021 Close calls, bloodshed and death might have made him that way. Sig Christenson, San Antonio Express-News, "Chuck Yeager, who dared the demon, now belongs to the stars," 23 Dec. 2020 Mayhem quickly followed — days of plunder, punishment and bloodshed that ended with dozens of refugees being singled out and forced back across the border into Eritrea. New York Times, "Refugees Come Under Fire as Old Foes Fight in Concert in Ethiopia," 18 Dec. 2020 By the time the U.S. forces had declared victory, the battle itself had achieved an almost mythic reputation for bloodshed and casualties (more than 110,000 Japanese soldiers and likely as many civilians). Steve Donoghue, The Christian Science Monitor, "Before history devolves into mythology: 2020’s best books on World War II," 2 Dec. 2020 Shooting in stunning Technicolor in his favorite location, Utah’s Monument Valley, Ford fills the film with lyrical passages while valorizing a soldier whose primary concern is preventing bloodshed rather than facilitating it. Keith Phipps, Vulture, "The 50 Greatest Western Movies of All Time," 18 Jan. 2021 Michigan's version is less grim and involves no bloodshed. Orion Sang, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan basketball's 'Hunger Games' drill is preparing it to be 'last team standing'," 13 Jan. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bloodshed.' 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 bloodshed

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of bloodshed was in the 15th century

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Statistics for bloodshed

Last Updated

24 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Bloodshed.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for bloodshed



English Language Learners Definition of bloodshed

: the killing of people especially in a war


blood·​shed | \ ˈbləd-ˌshed How to pronounce bloodshed (audio) \

Kids Definition of bloodshed

: serious injury or death caused by violence

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