[ vam-pahyuhr ]
See synonyms for: vampirevampiric on

  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.

  1. a person who preys ruthlessly upon others; extortionist.

  2. a woman who unscrupulously exploits, ruins, or degrades the men she seduces.

  3. an actress noted for her roles as an unscrupulous seductress: the vampires of the silent movies.

Origin of vampire

First recorded in 1725–35; from French or directly from German Vampir, from Serbo-Croatian vàmpīr, alteration of earlier upir (by confusion with doublets such as vȁzdūh, ȕzdūh “air” (from Slavic vŭ- ), and with intrusive nasal, as in dùbrava, dumbrȁva “grove”); akin to Czech upír, Polish upiór, Old Russian upyrĭ, upirĭ (Russian upýrʾ ), from unattested Slavic u-pirĭ or ǫ-pirĭ, probably a compound noun formed with unattested root per- “fly, rush” (literal meaning variously interpreted)

Other words from vampire

  • vam·pir·ic [vam-pir-ik], /væmˈpɪr ɪk/, vam·pir·ish [vam-pahyuhr-ish], /ˈvæm paɪər ɪʃ/, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use vampire in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for vampire


/ (ˈvæmpaɪə) /

  1. (in European folklore) a corpse that rises nightly from its grave to drink the blood of the living

  1. a person who preys mercilessly upon others, such as a blackmailer

  2. theatre a trapdoor on a stage

Origin of vampire

C18: from French, from German Vampir, from Magyar; perhaps related to Turkish uber witch, Russian upyr vampire

Derived forms of vampire

  • vampiric (væmˈpɪrɪk) or vampirish, adjective

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