Definition of lamia in US English:



  • A mythical monster, with the body of a woman or with the head and breasts of a woman and the body of a snake, said to prey on human beings and suck the blood of children.

    • ‘We lamia were not supposed to fall in love with humans, but I was willing to break every existing rule for her.’
    • ‘Leinweber discusses the development of beliefs about sorcerers and female vampires (lamiae) in Greek and Roman texts through Apuleius and shows how they prefigured modern witchcraft and vampire legends.’
    • ‘Another explores the death of Mozart and Van Gogh as the result of haunting by lamia.’
    • ‘This has obvious parallels with the striges and lamiae of classical myth and belief.’


Via Latin from Greek, denoting a carnivorous fish or mythical monster.