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From Old French flebothomie (French phlébotomie), from Late Latin phlebotomia, from Ancient Greek φλεβοτόμος (phlebotómos, that opens a vein), from φλέψ (phléps, vein). Synchronically, phlebo- +‎ -tomy.



phlebotomy (plural phlebotomies)

  1. The opening of a vein, either to withdraw blood or for letting blood; venesection.
    • 1621, Democritus Junior [pseudonym; Robert Burton], The Anatomy of Melancholy, Oxford: Printed by Iohn Lichfield and Iames Short, for Henry Cripps, OCLC 216894069:, II.5.1.ii:
      Phlebotomy is promiscuously used before and after physick, commonly before and upon occasion is often reiterated, if there be any need at least of it.
    • 1819, Walter Scott, Ivanhoe:
      He had even taken from his pocket a cupping apparatus, and was about to proceed to phlebotomy, when the object of his anxious solicitude suddenly revived […].


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