phle·​bot·​o·​my | \ fli-ˈbä-tə-mē How to pronounce phlebotomy (audio) \
plural phlebotomies

Definition of phlebotomy

: the drawing of blood (as by venipuncture) for transfusion, apheresis, diagnostic testing, or experimental procedures

Note: Phlebotomy was once widely used to treat many types of disease but is now limited to the treatment of only a few conditions like hemochromatosis and polycythemia vera.

While scientists struggle to understand the molecular subtleties of hemochromatosis, the clinical treatment of the disorder remains remarkably primitive: serial phlebotomy. That is, weekly bloodletting.— David A. Shaywitz

called also venesection

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from phlebotomy

phlebotomist \ fli-​ˈbä-​tə-​mist How to pronounce phlebotomist (audio) \ noun

Examples of phlebotomy in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

These provide adult basic education pathway programs in professions like welding, commercial truck driving, and phlebotomy. Ken Trzaska, Washington Post, "Lesson from Liberal, Kan.: Community colleges must reach out more to communities," 12 June 2018 The programs range from welding to phlebotomy to mine mechanics. Tegan Hanlon, Anchorage Daily News, "UA finalizes budget; tuition will increase for most classes this fall," 1 June 2018 From at least 2013 to 2017, Mr. Abdel-Sayed claimed to teach courses on topics such as electrocardiograms, phlebotomy and sonography at the college, located in Brooklyn. David W. Chen, New York Times, "College Lecturer Pleads Guilty to Selling Fake Certificates," 31 May 2018 Her son also spoke about what he's accomplished since exiting the juvenile justice system: graduating high school, phlebotomy training, and helping LCCR train the next generation of reform advocates. Sue Strachan,, "Louisiana Center for Children's Rights event benefits its clients," 17 Apr. 2018 The executive, who did not appear to have any deep background in phlebotomy, or blood sciences, was a staunch supporter of Holmes. Marco Della Cava, USA TODAY, "Behind Theranos' rise and dramatic fall: the powerful backers in money, tech and politics," 15 Mar. 2018 Health occupations, which will involve apprenticeship opportunities, will focus on health information technology, phlebotomy and other areas. Sarah Freishtat, Aurora Beacon-News, "West Aurora superintendent outlines vision for students, highlights early childhood and career programs," 13 Jan. 2018 Juan took his phlebotomy experience to the University of Connecticut and recently received his five-year pin. M.a.c. Lynch,, "Love Story: A Leap Of Faith And A Happy Landing," 10 Dec. 2017 The phlebotomy program saw 100 percent of its students pass their industry exams in 2017, and 92.3 percent of the students who entered the program completed it, according to data provided by the college. Emily K. Coleman, Lake County News-Sun, "Despite efforts to keep enrollment steady as economy improves, drops seen at College of Lake County branch campuses," 13 June 2017

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

See More

First Known Use of phlebotomy

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for phlebotomy

Middle English fleobotomie, from Middle French flebothomie, from Late Latin phlebotomia, from Greek, from phleb- + -tomia -tomy

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about phlebotomy

Statistics for phlebotomy

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for phlebotomy

The first known use of phlebotomy was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for phlebotomy


phle·​bot·​o·​my | \ fli-ˈbät-ə-mē How to pronounce phlebotomy (audio) \
plural phlebotomies

Medical Definition of phlebotomy

: the letting of blood (as by venipuncture) for transfusion, apheresis, diagnostic testing, or experimental procedures and widely used in the past to treat many types of disease but now limited to the treatment of only a few specific conditions (as hemochromatosis and polycythemia vera)

called also venesection, venotomy

Comments on phlebotomy

What made you want to look up phlebotomy? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to mark by some ceremony or observation

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Vocabulary Quiz Returns!

  • stylized drawing of woman pole vaulting across gap to get trophy
  • Which is a synonym of fuliginous?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!