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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).



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

  1. (intransitive, of an 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.
  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.

Derived terms[edit]



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 withdrawn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 terms[edit]