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Alternative forms[edit]


From Middle English blodles, from Old English blōdlēas (bloodless), equivalent to blood +‎ -less. Cognate with Dutch bloedeloos (bloodless), German blutlos (bloodless), Danish blodløs (bloodless), Swedish blodlös (bloodless), Icelandic blóðlaus (bloodless).


bloodless (comparative more bloodless, superlative most bloodless)

  1. Lacking blood; ashen, anaemic.
    • c. 1593, William Shakespeare, Titus Andronicus, Act III, Scene 1,[1]
      Thou dost not slumber: see, thy two sons’ heads,
      Thy warlike hand, thy mangled daughter here:
      Thy other banish’d son, with this dear sight
      Struck pale and bloodless; and thy brother, I,
      Even like a stony image, cold and numb.
    • 1956, James Baldwin, Giovanni’s Room, Penguin, 2001, Part One, Chapter 2,
      The face was white and thoroughly bloodless with some kind of foundation cream; it stank of powder and a gardenia-like perfume.
  2. Taking place without loss of blood.
    a bloodless conquest; a bloodless coup d'état; a bloodless revolution; a bloodless victory
  3. Lacking emotion, passion or vivacity.
    • 1937, “No. 1 Rumanian,” Time, 8 February, 1937,[2]
      Those Philharmonic subscribers who considered Guest Conductor Igor Stravinsky too bloodless and ascetic [] last week found his successor, Georges Enesco, more to their taste.

Derived terms[edit]


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