- 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.
Origin of vampire
Related Wordsbeast, villain, monster, vampire, phantom, devil, demon, soul, shadow, specter, vision, parasite, sponge, freeloader, tick, leech, extortioner, visitor, haunt, bogeyman
Examples from the Web for vampires
This Tuesday, a bunch of vampires and would-be superheroes will knock on our doors and ask us to reward them.Election Day Is Scarier Than Halloween
P. J. O’Rourke
November 1, 2014
Bill, of course, is in the latter stages of Hep V—an AIDS-like virus that preys on vampires.'True Blood' Ends With a Whimper: The Sexy HBO Vampire Series Is (Finally) Over
August 25, 2014
I already have to share too much with all the vampires of the world.Chloe Sevigny on ‘The Cosmopolitans,’ New York’s Frat Boy Takeover, and ‘Asshole’ Michael Alig
August 24, 2014
I wanted to find a vessel to carry all of these ideas I have about vampires.
In contrast, The Strain was returning to the roots of vampires as scary parasitic creatures—and I liked that.
My first and principal object was to discourse of the vampires of Hungary.
Thence the wakefulness, dreams, and pretended apparitions of vampires.
Such are nearly the contents of the work of M. Herenberg on vampires.
The vampires of which we are discoursing are very different from all those just mentioned.
The footnotes relating to vampires (pp. 323-4) reference modern Greek.Russian Fairy Tales
W. R. S. Ralston
Word Origin and History for vampires
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.