vamp

1
[vamp]

noun

verb (used with object)

verb (used without object)

Jazz. to improvise an accompaniment, tune, etc.

Origin of vamp

1
1175–1225; Middle English vampe < Anglo-French; Middle French avant-pie, equivalent to avant- fore- (see avaunt) + pie foot (French pied; see -ped)
Related formsvamp·er, nounvamp·ish, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for vampish

vamp

1

noun

a seductive woman who exploits men by use of her sexual charms

verb

to exploit (a man) in the fashion of a vamp
Derived Formsvamper, nounvampish, adjective

Word Origin for vamp

C20: short for vampire

vamp

2

noun

something patched up to make it look new
the reworking of a theme, story, etc
an improvised accompaniment, consisting largely of chords
the front part of the upper of a shoe

verb

(tr often foll by up) to give a vamp to; make a renovation of
to improvise (an accompaniment) to (a tune)
Derived Formsvamper, noun

Word Origin for vamp

C13: from Old French avantpié the front part of a shoe (hence, something patched), from avant- fore- + pié foot, from Latin pēs
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

Word Origin and History for vampish

vamp

v.

"extemporize on a piano," 1789, originally a noun meaning "part of a stocking that covers the foot and ankle" (early 13c.), from Anglo-French *vaumpé, from Old French avantpié, from avant "in front" + pié "foot." Sense evolved to "provide a stocking with a new vamp" (1590s), to "patch up, repair" (cf. revamp) to "extemporize." Related: Vamped; vamping.

vamp

n.

"seductive woman," 1911, short for vampire. First attested use is earlier than the release of the Fox film "A Fool There Was" (January 1915), with sultry Theda Bara in the role of The Vampire. But the movie was based on a play of that name that had been a Broadway hit (title and concept from a Kipling poem, "The Vampire"), and the word may ultimately trace to Bara's role. At any rate, Bara (real name Theodosia Goodman) remains the classic vamp.

A fool there was and he made his prayer
(Even as you and I!)
To a rag and a bone and a hank of hair
(We called her the woman who did not care)
But the fool, he called her his lady fair
(Even as you and I.)

[Kipling, "The Vampire"]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper