Pronunciation: (blud'let"ing), [key]
1. the act or practice of letting blood by opening a vein; phlebotomy.
2. bloodshed or slaughter.
4. Informal.severe cutbacks or reduction in personnel, appropriations, etc.: The company went through a period of bloodletting in the 1970s.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.