v. bled (blĕd), bleed·ing, bleeds
1. To emit or lose blood.
2. To be wounded, especially in battle.
3. To feel sympathetic grief or anguish: My heart bleeds for the victims of the air crash.
4. To exude a fluid such as sap.
5. To pay out money, especially an exorbitant amount.
a. To run together or be diffused, as dyes in wet cloth.
b. To undergo or be subject to such a diffusion of color: The madras skirt bled when it was first washed.
7. To show through a layer of paint, as a stain or resin in wood.
8. To be printed so as to go off the edge or edges of a page after trimming.
a. To take or remove blood from.
b. To extract sap or juice from.
a. To draw liquid or gaseous contents from; drain.
b. To draw off (liquid or gaseous matter) from a container.
a. To obtain money from, especially by improper means.
b. To drain of all valuable resources: "Politicians ... never stop inventing illicit enterprises of government that bleed the national economy" (David A. Stockman).
a. To cause (an illustration, for example) to bleed.
b. To trim (a page, for example) so closely as to mutilate the printed or illustrative matter.
1. An instance of bleeding.
2. Illustrative matter that bleeds.
a. A page trimmed so as to bleed.
b. The part of the page that is trimmed off.
Aerospace To decrease: "Mike reared the chopper almost vertical to bleed off airspeed" (Robert Coram).
1. To lose or cause to lose all or almost all of the blood from the body: The victim would have bled out if the paramedics hadn't arrived quickly. The hunter bled out the deer.
2. To lose or cause to lose all or almost all of a substance: Allow the air to bleed out of the system.
[Middle English bleden, from Old English blēdan; see bhel-3 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.