Vampire Vam"pire, n. [F. vampire (cf. It. vampiro, G. & D. vampir), fr. Servian vampir.] [Written also {vampyre}.] [1913 Webster] 1. A blood-sucking ghost; a soul of a dead person superstitiously believed to come from the grave and wander about by night sucking the blood of persons asleep, thus causing their death. This superstition is now prevalent in parts of Eastern Europe, and was especially current in Hungary about the year 1730. [1913 Webster]

The persons who turn vampires are generally wizards, witches, suicides, and persons who have come to a violent end, or have been cursed by their parents or by the church, --Encyc. Brit. [1913 Webster]

2. Fig.: One who lives by preying on others; an extortioner; a bloodsucker. [1913 Webster]

3. (Zo["o]l.) Either one of two or more species of South American blood-sucking bats belonging to the genera {Desmodus} and {Diphylla}. These bats are destitute of molar teeth, but have strong, sharp cutting incisors with which they make punctured wounds from which they suck the blood of horses, cattle, and other animals, as well as man, chiefly during sleep. They have a c[ae]cal appendage to the stomach, in which the blood with which they gorge themselves is stored. [1913 Webster]

4. (Zo["o]l.) Any one of several species of harmless tropical American bats of the genus {Vampyrus}, especially {Vampyrus spectrum}. These bats feed upon insects and fruit, but were formerly erroneously supposed to suck the blood of man and animals. Called also {false vampire}. [1913 Webster]

{Vampire bat} (Zo["o]l.), a vampire, 3. [1913 Webster] [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • vampire — [ vɑ̃pir ] n. m. • 1738; all. Vampir, du serbe 1 ♦ Fantôme sortant la nuit de son tombeau pour aller sucer le sang des vivants. ⇒ goule, strige . 2 ♦ Fig. (1756) Vieilli Suceur de sang, homme avide d argent. « Hors du trône, tyrans ! à la tombe,… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • vampire — (n.) 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 MikloЕЎiДЌ to be ultimtely from Kazan… …   Etymology dictionary

  • vampire — ► NOUN 1) (in folklore) a corpse supposed to leave its grave at night to drink the blood of the living. 2) (also vampire bat) a small bat that feeds on blood by piercing the skin with its incisor teeth, found mainly in tropical America.… …   English terms dictionary

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  • Vampire —    One of the undead. A corpse that lives in a grave during the day, and at night seeks nourishment by sucking the blood of humans. A vampire can take the form of a bat or wolf, and has no reflection in a mirror. The only way to kill a vampire is …   The writer's dictionary of science fiction, fantasy, horror and mythology

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