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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).


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bloodless (comparative more bloodless, superlative most bloodless)

  1. Lacking blood; ashen, anaemic.
    • c. 1587–1588, [Christopher Marlowe], Tamburlaine the Great. [] The First Part [], 2nd edition, part 1, London: [] [R. Robinson for] Richard Iones, [], published 1592, →OCLC; reprinted as Tamburlaine the Great (A Scolar Press Facsimile), Menston, Yorkshire, London: Scolar Press, 1973, →ISBN, Act II, scene vii:
      My bloodleſſe bodie waxeth chill and colde,
      And with my blood my life ſlides through my wound,
      My ſoule begins to take her flight to hell,
      And ſummones all my ſences to depart: []
    • c. 1588–1593 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Lamentable Tragedy of Titus Andronicus”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act III, scene i]:
      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, published 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
    • 1892, Rev. Herbert Henry Gowen, The Paradise of the Pacific, page 129:
      Now and then a gaudy peacock would run from his shelter in the lauhala trees, but no wild boars came out, so we returned from our raid bloodless and spoilless.
  3. Lacking emotion, passion or vivacity.

Derived terms[edit]


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