A feature of the ordering of phonological rules. If two rules, A and B, are in a bleeding order, the application of rule A causes a decrease in the number of forms to which rule B can apply. An example: suppose rule A changes some consonants from voiceless to voiced in some environments and rule B only applies to voiceless consonants. The application of rule A before rule B would mean that fewer forms are available for rule B to apply to.
See also feeding.