early 13c., present-participle adjective from bleed (v.). Figurative use is from 1796. As a euphemism for bloody, by 1858. In U.S. history, Bleeding Kansas, in reference to the slavery disputes in that territory 1854-60, is attested from 1856, said to have been first used by the New York "Tribune." The shell known as the bleeding tooth is attested from 1849.
late 14c., "a flowing out of blood;" mid-15c. as "a drawing out of blood," verbal noun from bleed (v.).
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