Meaning of vampire in English:



  • 1(in European folklore) a corpse supposed to leave its grave at night to drink the blood of the living by biting their necks with long pointed canine teeth.

    • ‘What must he do to save his neck from the vampires who are after his blood?’
    • ‘My parents were also vampires, and they drank blood to keep themselves alive.’
    • ‘They found a coffin and when they opened it up, a vampire jumped out and drank their blood.’
    • ‘Servants worked around me, trying to finish their jobs before night, when the vampires would wake.’
    • ‘In the depths of the night stood three vampires with glowing yellow eyes.’
    • ‘He picked up the sword and swung, connecting with the vampire's neck.’
    • ‘There was a female vampire standing there holding Scott like he was a rag doll.’
    • ‘A younger female vampire bounded up to him.’
    • ‘He realized that the other two vampires had vanished.’
    • ‘There are two ways to kill a vampire in the immortal world.’
    • ‘Why spend time talking when you could be more useful slaying vampires?’
    • ‘She knew he'd get himself killed if he fought this powerful vampire alone.’
    • ‘Among folk beliefs are various practices to prevent a corpse from becoming a vampire.’
    • ‘She would have to have bitten me four times before I became a vampire.’
    • ‘Most cultures had legends of vampires or shape-shifters who preyed on the living.’
    • ‘Ask anyone and they will tell you that to protect yourself from a vampire you will require: garlic, a crucifix, holy water, and a nice big, pointy stake.’
    • ‘A newly resurrected female vampire and her undead family prey on the staff and pupils of an Austrian finishing school.’
    • ‘It was not her first time allowing a vampire to feed on her blood.’
    • ‘The vampire fed and fed, until finally, there was no blood left in his young body.’
    • ‘When the three turned at an intersection, ahead of them were a group of vampires feeding on several victims that were already lifeless.’
    1. 1.1A person who preys ruthlessly on others.
      ‘the protectionist vampires in the Congress’
      • ‘He is the perpetually hungry scholar, too desiccated by poverty to return her love, a vampire preying on her bountiful spirit.’
      • ‘There is still a place for vampires in the urban jungles where humanity habitually preys upon itself.’
      • ‘Though they seem nice, they are actually power-hungry vampires, who manipulate you once you let your guard down.’
  • 2

    (also vampire bat)
    A small bat that feeds on the blood of mammals or birds using its two sharp incisor teeth and anticoagulant saliva, found mainly in tropical America.

    Family Desmodontidae (or Phyllostomidae): three species, in particular the common vampire (Desmodus rotundus)

    • ‘It is quite common for a vampire bat to fail to feed on a given night.’
    • ‘When a vampire bat bites an animal, its saliva introduces an anticlotting agent to keep the blood meal flowing.’
    • ‘Some scientists have suggested that the vampire bat developed its blood-sucking practice while it was an insect-eater, as most bats are.’
    • ‘The vampire bat often spends several minutes at its chosen site, sniffing and licking before actually biting.’
    • ‘In the countryside of Mexico and in rural Central America it is common to assume all bats are vampires.’
  • 3

    (also vampire trap)
    (in a theatre) a small spring trapdoor used for sudden disappearances from a stage.

    ‘Depending on its placement, the vampire trap made the actor alternately body and spirit.’
    ‘To operate the vampire trap the dancer threw herself against a couple of shutters in the stage floor, which opened to let her through and immediately closed.’


Mid 18th century from French, from Hungarian vampir, perhaps from Turkish uber ‘witch’.