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A bleeding wound on a finger.


From Middle English bleden, from Old English blēdan (to bleed), from Proto-Germanic *blōþijaną (to bleed), from *blōþą (blood). Cognate with Scots blede, bleid (to bleed), West Frisian bliede (to bleed), Saterland Frisian bläide (to bleed), Dutch bloeden (to bleed), Low German blöden (to bleed), German bluten (to bleed), Danish bløde (to bleed), Swedish blöda (to bleed).


  • IPA(key): /ˈbliːd/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -iːd


bleed (third-person singular simple present bleeds, present participle bleeding, simple past and past participle bled)

  1. (intransitive, of a person or animal) To lose blood through an injured blood vessel.
    If her nose bleeds, try to use ice.
  2. (transitive) To let or draw blood from.
    • 1979, Octavia Butler, Kindred:
      "What did they die of?" I asked.
      "Fevers. The doctor came and bled them and purged them, but they still died."
      "He bled and purged babies?"
      "They were two and three. He said it would break the fever. And it did. But they ... they died anyway."
  3. (transitive) To take large amounts of money from.
  4. (transitive) To steadily lose (something vital).
    The company was bleeding talent.
  5. (intransitive, of an ink or dye) To spread from the intended location and stain the surrounding cloth or paper.
  6. (transitive) To remove air bubbles from a pipe containing fluids.
  7. (obsolete, transitive) To bleed on; to make bloody.
  8. (intransitive, copulative) To show one's group loyalty by showing (its associated color) in one's blood.
    He was a devoted Vikings fan: he bled purple.
  9. To lose sap, gum, or juice.
    A tree or a vine bleeds when tapped or wounded.
  10. To issue forth, or drop, like blood from an incision.
    • Alexander Pope
      For me the balm shall bleed.
  11. (phonology, transitive, of a phonological rule) To destroy the environment where another phonological rule would have applied.
    Labialization bleeds palatalization.

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Related termsEdit



bleed (plural bleeds)

  1. An incident of bleeding, as in haemophilia.
  2. (printing) A narrow edge around a page layout, to be printed but cut off afterwards (added to allow for slight misalignment, especially with pictures that should run to the edge of the finished sheet).
  3. (sound recording) The situation where sound is picked up by a microphone from a source other than that which is intended.







  1. shy, coy
  2. modest
  3. withdrawn
  4. timid, reticent, reluctant

Derived termsEdit