Bloody



stained or covered with blood:
a bloody handkerchief.
bleeding:
a bloody nose.
characterized by bloodshed:
bloody battle; a bloody rule.
inclined to bloodshed; bloodthirsty:
a bloody dictator.
of, relating to, or resembling blood; containing or composed of blood:
bloody tissue.
Slang. (used as an intensifier):
a bloody shame; a bloody nuisance.
to stain or smear with blood.
to cause to bleed, as by a blow or accident:
to bloody someone’s nose.
Slang. (used as an intensifier):
bloody awful; bloody wonderful.
Contemporary Examples

Government Ceasefire Is First Step Towards Peace in South Sudan John Prendergast, Akshaya Kumar January 23, 2014
From Bullets to Ballet Sebastian Rich October 15, 2010
Curtis Flowers: Mississippi’s Marked Man Paul Alexander June 28, 2013
History’s Greatest Book Burners Judith Miller September 6, 2010
Dr. Scarpetta Heads to Psych Ward Daily Beast Promotions February 22, 2009

Historical Examples

Sir Walter Ralegh William Stebbing
Howard Pyle’s Book of Pirates Howard Pyle
Terry’s Texas Rangers Leonidas B. Giles
The Last of the Mohicans James Fenimore Cooper
Calavar Robert Montgomery Bird

adjective bloodier, bloodiest
covered or stained with blood
resembling or composed of blood
marked by much killing and bloodshed: a bloody war
cruel or murderous: a bloody tyrant
of a deep red colour; blood-red
adverb, adjective
(slang, mainly Brit) (intensifier): a bloody fool, bloody fine food
verb bloodies, bloodying, bloodied
(transitive) to stain with blood
adj.

The onset of the taboo against bloody coincides with the increase in linguistic prudery that presaged the Victorian Era but it is hard to say what the precise cause was in the case of this specific word. Attempts have been made to explain the term’s extraordinary shock power by invoking etymology. Theories that derive it from such oaths as “By our Lady” or “God’s blood” seem farfetched, however. More likely, the taboo stemmed from the fear that many people have of blood and, in the minds of some, from an association with menstrual bleeding. Whatever, the term was debarred from polite society during the whole of the nineteenth century. [Rawson]

Shaw shocked theatergoers when he put it in the mouth of Eliza Doolittle in “Pygmalion” (1914), and for a time the word was known euphemistically as “the Shavian adjective.” It was avoided in print as late as 1936. Bloody Sunday, Jan. 30, 1972, when 13 civilians were killed by British troops at protest in Londonderry, Northern Ireland.
v.

v. blood·ied, blood·y·ing, blood·ies

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  • Bloodiness

    stained or covered with blood: a bloody handkerchief. bleeding: a bloody nose. characterized by bloodshed: bloody battle; a bloody rule. inclined to bloodshed; bloodthirsty: a bloody dictator. of, relating to, or resembling blood; containing or composed of blood: bloody tissue. Slang. (used as an intensifier): a bloody shame; a bloody nuisance. to stain or smear […]

  • Bloodily

    stained or covered with blood: a bloody handkerchief. bleeding: a bloody nose. characterized by bloodshed: bloody battle; a bloody rule. inclined to bloodshed; bloodthirsty: a bloody dictator. of, relating to, or resembling blood; containing or composed of blood: bloody tissue. Slang. (used as an intensifier): a bloody shame; a bloody nuisance. to stain or smear […]



  • Blooding

    (in fox hunting) an informal initiation ceremony in which the face of a novice is smeared with the blood of the first fox that person has seen killed. the fluid that circulates in the principal vascular system of human beings and other vertebrates, in humans consisting of plasma in which the red blood cells, white […]

  • Bloodless

    without blood: bloodless surgery. very pale: a bloodless face. free from bloodshed; accomplished without bloodshed: a bloodless victory; a bloodless coup. spiritless; without vigor, zest, or energy: a dull, insipid, bloodless young man. without emotion or feeling; cold-hearted: bloodless data. Contemporary Examples Wendi Murdoch’s Pie Smackdown Samuel P. Jacobs July 18, 2011 The Death Penalty’s […]



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