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A bleeding wound on a finger.


From Middle English bleden, from Old English blēdan (to bleed), from Proto-West Germanic *blōdijan, from Proto-Germanic *blōþijaną (to bleed), from *blōþą (blood). Cognate with Scots blede, bleid (to bleed), Saterland Frisian bläide (to bleed), West Frisian bliede (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)

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  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 other fluids.
  7. (transitive) To tap off high-pressure gas (usually air) from a system that produces high-pressure gas primarily for another purpose.
    At low engine speeds, valves open to bleed some of the highly-compressed air from the later compressor stages, helping to prevent engine surging.
    High-pressure air bled from the APU is used to spin up the engines and run the APU generator and hydraulic pump, and can also be used to pressurise the cabin if necessary.
  8. (obsolete, transitive) To bleed on; to make bloody.
    • 1470–1485 (date produced), Thomas Malory, “(please specify the chapter)”, in [Le Morte Darthur], book VIII, [London: [] by William Caxton], published 31 July 1485, OCLC 71490786; republished as H[einrich] Oskar Sommer, editor, Le Morte Darthur [], London: David Nutt, [], 1889, OCLC 890162034:
      And so Sir Trystrames bledde bothe the over-shete and the neyther-shete, and the pylowes and the hede-shete
  9. (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.
  10. To lose sap, gum, or juice.
    A tree or a vine bleeds when tapped or wounded.
  11. To issue forth, or drop, like blood from an incision.
  12. (phonology, transitive, of a phonological rule) To destroy the environment where another phonological rule would have applied.
    Labialization bleeds palatalization.
  13. (publishing, advertising, transitive, intransitive) To (cause to) extend to the edge of the page, without leaving any margin.
    • 1998, Macmillan Dictionary of Marketing and Advertising (page 35)
      Full-page and double-page colour advertisements in the Sunday colour magazines usually bleed off the page' (or are 'bled to the margin'), []
    • 2004, Dorothy A. Bowles, ‎Diane L. Borden, Creative Editing (page 361)
      Too, bleeding beyond margins provides editors with several picas of space for more layout.
  14. (finance, intransitive) To lose money.
    Most of the sectors are bleeding, particularly the resources sector.

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bleed (plural bleeds)

  1. An incident of bleeding, as in haemophilia.
  2. (aviation, usually in the plural) A system for tapping hot, high-pressure air from a gas turbine engine for purposes such as cabin pressurization and airframe anti-icing.
    When taking off at high altitude or at near-maximum weight, the bleeds have to be turned off temporarily, as they decrease engine power somewhat.
  3. (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).
  4. (sound recording) The situation where sound is picked up by a microphone from a source other than that which is intended.
  5. The removal of air bubbles from a pipe containing other fluids.
  6. (uncountable, role-playing games) The phenomenon of in character feelings affecting a player's feelings or actions outside of the game.

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

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