vampire bat

  1. any of several New World tropical bats of the genera Desmodus, Diphylla, and Diaemus, the size of a small mouse, feeding on small amounts of blood obtained from resting mammals and birds by means of a shallow cut made with specialized incisor teeth.

  2. any of several large South American bats of the genera Phyllostomus and Vampyrus, erroneously believed to feed on blood.

Origin of vampire bat

First recorded in 1780–90

Words Nearby vampire bat Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use vampire bat in a sentence

  • His skin hung loose on his great body, as though a vampire bat had drained it of its blood.

    The Shadow | Arthur Stringer
  • A flitting vampire bat is real, or a stinging ray in the depths of a blue lagoon.

    The Man the Martians Made | Frank Belknap Long
  • In one case a vampire bat had punctured a mans arm near the elbow while he slept, and that little wound had grown disastrously.

    The Sea and the Jungle | H. M. Tomlinson
  • But there is a big bat, called the vampire bat, that will do a good deal of mischief, if he can get a chance.

  • The vampire bat is often the cause of much trouble, by biting the horses on their withers.

British Dictionary definitions for vampire bat

vampire bat

  1. any bat, esp Desmodus rotundus, of the family Desmodontidae of tropical regions of Central and South America, having sharp incisor and canine teeth and feeding on the blood of birds and mammals: Compare false 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