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vampire

[vam-pahyuh r] /ˈvæm paɪər/
noun
1.
a preternatural being, commonly believed to be a reanimated corpse, that is said to suck the blood of sleeping persons at night.
2.
(in Eastern European folklore) a corpse, animated by an undeparted soul or demon, that periodically leaves the grave and disturbs the living, until it is exhumed and impaled or burned.
3.
a person who preys ruthlessly upon others; extortionist.
4.
a woman who unscrupulously exploits, ruins, or degrades the men she seduces.
5.
an actress noted for her roles as an unscrupulous seductress:
the vampires of the silent movies.
Origin
1725-1735
1725-35; (< F) < German Vampir < Serbo-Croatian vàmpīr, alteration of earlier upir (by confusion with doublets such as vȁzdūh, ȕzdūh air (< Slavic vŭ-), and with intrusive nasal, as in dùbrava, dumbrȁva grove); akin to Czech upír, Polish upiór, Old Russian upyrĭ, upirĭ, (Russian upýrʾ) < Slavic *u-pirĭ or *ǫ-pirĭ, probably a deverbal compound with *per- fly, rush (literal meaning variously interpreted)
Related forms
vampiric
[vam-pir-ik] /væmˈpɪr ɪk/ (Show IPA),
vampirish
[vam-pahyuh r-ish] /ˈvæm paɪər ɪʃ/ (Show IPA),
adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for vampire
  • Eight months and eight days ago, tonight's nuptial couple met at a party attended by professed vampires and vampire wannabees.
  • Another chapter in the chronicle of parasitic vampire industry.
  • vampire bats are able to hear and remember the unique ultrasonic signature of an individual's breath, a new study finds.
  • Imaginations really run wild with the carnivorous, blood-sucking vampire bat, as well.
  • No longer shadowy outcasts, vampire cops try to control vampire riots when the blood supply falters.
  • Find out who's on the menu for vampire bats, the only mammals that can fly and the only ones that survive on blood.
  • Their light-induced toxicity may also help explain the origin of vampire tales.
  • vampire draw is the trickle of power that a charger pulls when left in the wall, even if there is no device plugged in.
  • The upside to being a vampire provided you drink blood younger than you.
  • Instead of nailing down a fresh new idea, today's vampire shows go straight to retread city, starring the same old-ripped bodices.
British Dictionary definitions for vampire

vampire

/ˈvæmpaɪə/
noun
1.
(in European folklore) a corpse that rises nightly from its grave to drink the blood of the living
2.
3.
a person who preys mercilessly upon others, such as a blackmailer
4.
See vamp1 (sense 1)
5.
(theatre) a trapdoor on a stage
Derived Forms
vampiric (væmˈpɪrɪk), vampirish, adjective
Word Origin
C18: from French, from German Vampir, from Magyar; perhaps related to Turkish uber witch, Russian upyr vampire
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for vampire
n.

1734, from French vampire or German Vampir (1732, in an account of Hungarian vampires), from Hungarian vampir, from Old Church Slavonic opiri (cf. Serbian vampir, Bulgarian vapir, Ukrainian uper), said by Slavic linguist Franc Miklošič to be ultimtely from Kazan Tatar ubyr "witch," but Max Vasmer, an expert in this linguistic area, finds that phonetically doubtful. An Eastern European creature popularized in English by late 19c. gothic novels, however there are scattered English accounts of night-walking, blood-gorged, plague-spreading undead corpses from as far back as 1196. Applied 1774 by French biologist Buffon to a species of South American blood-sucking bat.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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