- the act or practice of letting blood by opening a vein; phlebotomy.
- bloodshed or slaughter.
- Informal. severe cutbacks or reduction in personnel, appropriations, etc.: The company went through a period of bloodletting in the 1970s.
- the therapeutic removal of blood, as in relieving congestive heart failureSee also phlebotomy
- bloodshed, esp in a blood feud
- The therapeutic removal of blood, usually from a vein.