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.

    • ‘Another explores the death of Mozart and Van Gogh as the result of haunting by lamia.’
    • ‘We lamia were not supposed to fall in love with humans, but I was willing to break every existing rule for her.’
    • ‘This has obvious parallels with the striges and lamiae of classical myth and belief.’
    • ‘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.’


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