bleed / blēd/ • v. (past and past part. bled / bled/ ) 1. [intr.] lose blood from the body as a result of injury or illness: some casualties were left to bleed to death [as n.] (bleeding) the bleeding has stopped now. ∎ (of a dye or color) seep into an adjacent color or area: I worked loosely with the oils, allowing colors to bleed into one another.2. [tr.] draw blood from (someone), esp. as a once-common method of treatment in medicine. ∎ remove blood from (an animal carcass): the first steer rolled out on the floor to be bled, skinned, and dressed. ∎ [tr.] inf. drain (someone) of money or resources: his policy of attempting to bleed unions of funds. ∎ [tr.] allow (fluid or gas) to escape from a closed system through a valve: open the valves and bleed air from the pump chamber.• n. an instance of bleeding: a lot of blood was lost from the placental bleed.PHRASES: bleed someone dry (or white) drain someone of all money or resources: the railroads claimed that personnel costs were bleeding them dry.
bleed someone dry drain someone of all their money or resources. Since the late 17th century, bleeding has been a metaphor for extorting money from someone. In the variant bleed someone white, white refers to the physiological effect of loss of blood.