[ zom-bee ]
See synonyms for zombie on Thesaurus.com
  1. (in Vodou)

    • a mute and will-less body, robbed of its soul and given the semblance of life by a supernatural force, usually for manual labor or some evil purpose.

    • the supernatural force itself.

  2. (in popular culture) an undead creature with a reanimated human body, typically depicted in science fiction or horror stories as contagious to the living by bite and vulnerable only to serious head trauma: In the movie, survivors of the apocalypse try to build a barricade to keep the zombies out.

  1. Informal.

    • a person whose behavior or responses are wooden, listless, or seemingly rote; automaton.

    • an eccentric or peculiar person.

  2. a snake god worshiped in West Indian and Brazilian religious practices of African origin.

  3. a tall drink made typically with several kinds of rum, citrus juice, and often apricot liqueur.

  4. Canadian Slang. an army conscript assigned to home defense during World War II.

  1. of or relating to something that was declared concluded, finished, or dead, but surprisingly continues to linger, or comes back in a different version: zombie legislation that was defeated last session;resuscitating zombie corporations through debt restructuring;a zombie ex who texts you out of the blue looking for a hookup.

Origin of zombie

First recorded in 1810–20; from Louisiana French, Haitian Creole zonbi, from a Bantu language, e.g., Kongo nzambi “god,” zumbi “fetish,” or Kimbundu nzambi “god”
  • Rarely zom·bi .

Other words from zombie

  • zom·bi·ism, noun

Words Nearby zombie

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use zombie in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for zombie



/ (ˈzɒmbɪ) /

nounplural -bies or -bis
  1. a person who is or appears to be lifeless, apathetic, or totally lacking in independent judgment; automaton

  2. a supernatural spirit that reanimates a dead body

  1. a corpse brought to life in this manner

  2. the snake god of voodoo cults in the West Indies, esp Haiti, and in scattered areas of the southern US

  3. the python god revered in parts of West Africa

  4. a piece of computer code that instructs an infected computer to send a virus on to other computer systems

Origin of zombie

from Kongo zumbi good-luck fetish

Derived forms of zombie

  • zombiism, noun

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