verb (used without object), bled [bled] /blɛd/, bleed·ing.

  1. to lose blood from the vascular system, either internally into the body or externally through a natural orifice or break in the skin: to bleed from the mouth.
  2. (of injured tissue, excrescences, etc.) to exude blood: a wart that is bleeding.
  3. (of a plant) to exude sap, resin, etc., from a wound.
  4. (of dye or paint) to run or become diffused: All the colors bled when the dress was washed.
  5. (of a liquid) to ooze or flow out.
  6. to feel pity, sorrow, or anguish: My heart bleeds for you. A nation bleeds for its dead heroes.
  7. to suffer wounds or death, as in battle: The soldiers bled for the cause.
  8. (of a broadcast signal) to interfere with another signal: CB transmissions bleeding over into walkie-talkies.
  9. Printing. (of printed matter) to run off the edges of a page, either by design or through mutilation caused by too close trimming.
  10. Slang. to pay out money, as when overcharged or threatened with extortion.
  11. Metallurgy. (of a cooling ingot or casting) to have molten metal force its way through the solidified exterior because of internal gas pressure.

verb (used with object), bled [bled] /blɛd/, bleed·ing.

  1. to cause to lose blood, especially surgically: Doctors no longer bleed their patients to reduce fever.
  2. to lose or emit (blood or sap).
  3. to drain or draw sap, water, electricity, etc., from (something): to bleed a pipeline of excess air.
  4. to remove trapped air from (as an automotive brake system) by opening a bleeder valve.
  5. to obtain an excessive amount from; extort money from.
  6. Printing.
    1. to permit (printed illustrations or ornamentation) to run off the page or sheet.
    2. to trim the margin of (a book or sheet) so closely as to mutilate the text or illustration.


  1. Printing.
    1. a sheet or page margin trimmed so as to mutilate the text or illustration.
    2. a part thus trimmed off.
  2. Medicine/Medical. an instance of bleeding; hemorrhage: an intracranial bleed.


  1. Printing. characterized by bleeding: a bleed page.

Verb Phrases

  1. bleed off, to draw or extract: to bleed off sap from a maple tree; to bleed off static electricity.
  1. bleed white. white(def 41).

verb bleeds, bleeding or bled

  1. (intr) to lose or emit blood
  2. (tr) to remove or draw blood from (a person or animal)
  3. (intr) to be injured or die, as for a cause or one’s country
  4. (of plants) to exude (sap or resin), esp from a cut
  5. (tr) informal to obtain relatively large amounts of money, goods, etc, esp by extortion
  6. (tr) to draw liquid or gas from (a container or enclosed system)to bleed the hydraulic brakes
  7. (intr) (of dye or paint) to run or become mixed, as when wet
  8. to print or be printed so that text, illustrations, etc, run off the trimmed page
  9. (tr) to trim (the edges of a printed sheet) so closely as to cut off some of the printed matter
  10. (intr) civil engineering building trades (of a mixture) to exude (a liquid) during compaction, such as water from cement
  11. bleed someone or something dry to extort gradually all the resources of a person or thing
  12. one’s heart bleeds used to express sympathetic grief, but often used ironically


  1. printing
    1. an illustration or sheet trimmed so that some matter is bled
    2. (as modifier)a bleed page
  2. printing the trimmings of a sheet that has been bled

past tense and past participle of bleed (v.).


Old English bledan “to let blood,” in Middle English and after, “to let blood from surgically;” also “to emit blood,” from Proto-Germanic *blodjan “emit blood” (cf. Old Norse blæða, German bluten), from *bhlo-to- “swell, gush, spurt” (see blood (n.)). Meaning “extort money from” is from 1670s. Of dyes or paints, from 1862. Related: Bled; bleeding.


  1. To lose blood as a result of rupture or severance of blood vessels.
  2. To take or remove blood from.

In addition to the idiom beginning with bleed

  • bleed someone white

also see:

  • my heart bleeds for you

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