vampire

[vam-pahyuhr]
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:
1725–35; (< 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)

vampiric [vam-pir-ik] , vampirish [vam-pahyuhr-ish] , adjective
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
vampire (ˈvæmpaɪə)
 
n
1.  (in European folklore) a corpse that rises nightly from its grave to drink the blood of the living
2.  See vampire bat
3.  a person who preys mercilessly upon others, such as a blackmailer
4.  See vamp
5.  theatre a trapdoor on a stage
 
[C18: from French, from German Vampir, from Magyar; perhaps related to Turkish uber witch, Russian upyr vampire]
 
vampiric
 
adj
 
vampirish
 
adj

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

vampire
1734, from Fr. vampire or Ger. Vampir (1732, in an account of Hungarian vampires), from Hung. vampir, from O.C.S. opiri (cf. Serb. vampir, Bulg. vapir, Ukrainian uper), said by Slavic linguist Franc Mikloič to be ult. from Kazan Tatar ubyr "witch." An Eastern European creature popularized in Eng.
by late 19c. gothic novels, however there are scattered Eng. accounts of night-walking, blood-gorged, plague-spreading undead corpses from as far back as 1196. Applied 1774 by Fr. biologist Buffon to a species of South American blood-sucking bat.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

vampires definition


Originally part of central European folklore, they now appear in horror stories as living corpses who need to feed on human blood. A vampire will leave his coffin at night, disguised as a great bat, to seek his innocent victims, bite their necks with his long, sharp teeth, and suck their blood.

Note: The most famous vampire is Count Dracula, from the novel Dracula by Bram Stoker.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
The vampires and jackals of society began to trade on this obsession.
People can't seem to get enough of vampires lately, and zombies have a new
  lease on life.
Keeping a light on, then, unfortunately does not keep these tiny vampires away.
Buffy was about a superhero plus vampires plus romantic angst-and, again,
  jackpot.
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