What do we call a being which has flowing blood? Do we call it a bloody being? I really don't like this word for some reason, such as this seems to be offensive and wierd too.

I am having to use it for animals like rats, lizard and others. I mean to say:

The animals which have flowing blood if killed or wounded. But I need to make a noun phrase using Adj+noun.

I don't think 'a bloody animal' will work; because it seems to mean:

An animal which is bleeding.

An animal involved in violence.

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    'Bloody' is also an expletive.
    – jla
    Commented Sep 7, 2020 at 7:57
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    You say you don't mean 'an animal which is bleeding' (which I thought at first was what you were trying to say). Do you mean 'an animal possessing a circulatory system'? en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circulatory_system Commented Sep 7, 2020 at 8:00
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    Is there a word in your native language for this?
    – minseong
    Commented Sep 7, 2020 at 18:10
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    The simple and correct answer - as with many questions on here - is "there's no such word in English". Suggestions for coining terms, etc, achieve nothing but confusion for English learners. The very simple answer is "No".
    – Fattie
    Commented Sep 8, 2020 at 15:33
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    I agree with @Lambie that your question is unclear, and I think that perhaps you could clarify it by providing an example or two of how you would like to use this hypothetical word. Can you edit your question to add a couple of sentences or short paragraphs to illustrate the context in which you envision using the word, with just the unknown word omitted and marked by a blank, underlined space? That way, people can either identify the word (if it exists) or suggest some kind of workaround. (From what you've written, it seems that "animals that bleed when cut" might do, but I can't tell.)
    – Nanigashi
    Commented Sep 8, 2020 at 21:54

11 Answers 11


I would argue that sanguineous is no better than sanguinary — both connote nothing more than "somehow related to blood," to the modern literary reader.

If you mean "carrying (within themselves) blood," you could coin the word sanguiferous, Latin for "blood-bearing." In the late 1800s and early 1900s, what we now call the "circulatory system" was also known as the "sanguiferous system," because it comprised the sanguiferous channels of the body (which we'd now call "blood vessels."

Another option would be to include both warm-blooded and cold-blooded animals under the general umbrella of "blooded animals." However, note that the word "blooded" already has at least two competing meanings in English: (1) having a good pedigree, (2) having combat experience. (Also note that "blooded" is not the same word as "bloodied.")

Come to think of it, your original question doesn't really explain why you're not happy with the word "animal" in the first place. I mean, approximately all animals have blood, right? So you just want to exclude insects and starfish and whatnot? You might use the phrase "the higher animals." Vice versa, do you mean to include any species from the plant kingdom, such as the bloodwood teak?

It might also help to know the context in which you intend to use this word. Is it for a scientific paper? A science-fiction story? Depending on the context, one might say that animals that "when crushed, release blood" are squishy. In vampire fiction, one might dismissively call them bloodbags.

  • I really don't get why this answer was upvoted. Clearly, the OP meant how do you describe what happens to blood when an animal or person is wounded or hurt.
    – Lambie
    Commented Sep 8, 2020 at 20:44
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    @Lambie I read the last part of the Q as describing animals that could bleed, not just ones that are bleeding.
    – StephenS
    Commented Sep 8, 2020 at 21:16

You could say "blood bearing", which would be all animals that have blood.

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    "blood-bearing" with a hyphen, IMO Commented Sep 7, 2020 at 17:17
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    @Fattie I don't know. We're carbon-based because pretty much every organ in our body is constructed primarily out of carbon compounds. But we're not based on blood any more than we're muscle-based or skin-based - it doesn't form a basis of our body, it's merely a part of it. Commented Sep 8, 2020 at 23:33

What do we call a being which has flowing blood?

Most of the suggested words in other answers would describe something covered in blood, not having blood flowing through them.

Humans and animals which have flowing blood are usually described as having a circulatory system, or vascular system.

As a circulatory system is a characteristic of various species and subspecies of animal, you may only need to refer to an animal as being, for example, a vertebrate or a mammal, and it would be tacit that they have a circulatory system.

When differentiating between creatures which maintain a constant body temperature and those that do not, we use the terms warm-blooded or cold-blooded, so if you really wanted to refer to the blood only I suppose it would not be incorrect grammatically to say they were "blooded" (not "bloodied"), but I don't believe this would be idiomatic and I have certainly never heard it.

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    I disagree with the last paragraph. a "cold-blooded" animal can have warmer blood than a "warm-blooded" animal (and at the moment, that's quite likely where I am, as we're in a heat wave). "Cold-blooded" refers to an animal that gains/loses heat from its environment, while "worm-blooded" refers to an animal that self-regulates its own body temperature.
    – sharur
    Commented Sep 8, 2020 at 15:16
  • @sharur , your comment does not seem to make sense. What you said, and the final paragraph are both perfectly correct and the same.
    – Fattie
    Commented Sep 8, 2020 at 15:34
  • @sharur I didn't get into the technicalties of what it means to be warm-blooded as this is an English grammar site and not a biology site. But just for you, I've updated the paragraph.
    – Astralbee
    Commented Sep 8, 2020 at 16:59
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    The question you answered was written like that by the OP but that is not what it seems he or she really means. I think what was meant was: how do you describe what happens to blood when their is an accident or wound to the body?.
    – Lambie
    Commented Sep 8, 2020 at 20:42
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    @BadZen The OP stated: "YES. & when crushed, it releases blood. That's what I mean". Sounds like blood is oozing out or spurting (out) of a body's wounds or arteries.
    – Lambie
    Commented Sep 8, 2020 at 20:50

Since all but the most primitive animals possess a circulatory system of some kind, I don't know of any single adjective meaning 'having blood'. You would have to say something like 'animals having a bloodstream'.

  • I got this word 'flowable'... here: en.wiktionary.org/wiki/flowable
    – xeesid
    Commented Sep 7, 2020 at 10:29
  • I mean rats, lizard if crushed have the quantity of blood that may flow if finds a hole or space, but not a mosquito or fly.
    – xeesid
    Commented Sep 7, 2020 at 10:31
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    Insects do have blood, but it isn't red like ours - see this . Flowable can describe any liquid, not just blood. Commented Sep 7, 2020 at 10:53
  • You would say animals with a circulatory system, as Astralbee does in his answer.
    – EllieK
    Commented Sep 8, 2020 at 13:37

You could try ”sanguineous”, which just means “bloody”, but the use of an unusual and more formal word will make people expect some different significance to it.

  • For formal writing sanguineous is the correct word. The root word, sanguine, means 'relating to blood'. For every day speech there isn't really a single word that has the same meaning.
    – jla
    Commented Sep 7, 2020 at 7:55
  • "Sanguineous" is not correct when describing an organism with a circulatory system - and the blood still properly inside of it. Prefer "sanguiferous".
    – BadZen
    Commented Sep 8, 2020 at 20:43

As suggested in other answers, "Blood-bearing" is good, and "Sanguiferous" is both erudite and biologically accurate terminology.

But, has no one simply thought to say: "blooded"?

This is the word I would use in a less formal sentence. It's a participle construction not in extremely common use, but conveys the meaning accurately and will be understood by almost all speakers.

"Flatworms, unlike blooded animals, do not possess a lined body cavity."


You are correct to not prefer bloody as bloody means X has blood on it but not that it's losing blood or that blood is flowing out of it.

The animals which have flowing blood if killed or wounded

So this is a dramatic statement in the sense that conjures violent imagery. A dramatic adjective to describe the motion of blood upon a kill is warranted here. A good adjective is gush:

The animals which gush blood if killed or wounded.

Gush can be used to describe anything liquid, not just blood. While gush means a violent, large ejection of liquid, it would fit the context.

If you really want a single word, try this. It's an "invented" word but will be understood and also fits the context.

The animals which bloodgush if killed or wounded.


This may seem like a strange answer, but I think the best word to characterize all animals that have blood that flows through blood vessels might be vertebrates.

The word literally means those animals that have backbones, but it turns out that animals that don’t have backbones either don’t have blood at all, or the blood they do have doesn’t flow through blood vessels the way it does in vertebrates.

In case it’s not obvious, this is a more scientific word, but many non-scientists do understand this word.

Aside from that, I’m not familiar with a simple word or phrase in English that means “having blood that flows through blood vessels”. As far as I know, in English we don’t categorize animals that way.


An example sentence:

Animals which have a blood circulatory system (also known as a cardiovascular system) will bleed when cut.

I don't think there is a correct way to say this with Adj+Noun.



I think it's safe to say that all animals contain moving liquid, although there's a major distinction between animals with an open circulatory system (insects, molluscs) and those with a closed one (reptiles, mammals). You might be better focussing on the fact that animals with open systems tend to have either an armoured exoskeleton or a shell, as opposed to those with closed systems which have skin possibly with scales (sometimes fused to form armour, e.g. the tortoise).

Once you start moving away from animals you're looking at things like fungi as comparatively close relatives and plants as more distant ones, and while those might be internally moist they don't have a comparatively large proportion of rapidly-moving working fluid.

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    It is not the case that all animals have a circulatory system!
    – BadZen
    Commented Sep 8, 2020 at 20:42
  • @BadZen I concede that in the case of lower orders things like planaria, but would suggest that that's a long way from the OP's intent. Commented Sep 9, 2020 at 7:39

If a person or animal is wounded and their blood starts to leave the body, the word in English is ooze.

  • Blood oozes out of wounds, if left untreated.

  • If an artery is hit, the blood spurts out of the severed artery.

  • oozing or seeping blood

  • spurting blood

  • gushing blood

The blood-spurting mouse inched his way across the floor. The blood-oozing monster was cornered.

adjective + noun.

If you cut your finger, you apply pressure to stop the blood flowing out of the cut.

And, as far as I know, cold-blooded animals like lizards don't really bleed, like hot-blooded animals.

And bloody means covered in blood: He was in a fight and he face was bloody but he was not bleeding.


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