- a preternatural being, commonly believed to be a reanimated corpse, that is said to suck the blood of sleeping persons at night.
- (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.
- a person who preys ruthlessly upon others; extortionist.
- a woman who unscrupulously exploits, ruins, or degrades the men she seduces.
- an actress noted for her roles as an unscrupulous seductress: the vampires of the silent movies.
- (in European folklore) a corpse that rises nightly from its grave to drink the blood of the living
- See vampire bat
- a person who preys mercilessly upon others, such as a blackmailer
- See vamp 1 (def. 1)
- theatre a trapdoor on a stage
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.
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.