One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1(in European folklore) a corpse supposed to leave its grave at night to drink the blood of the living by biting their necks with long pointed canine teeth.
- ‘My parents were also vampires, and they drank blood to keep themselves alive.’
- ‘She knew he'd get himself killed if he fought this powerful vampire alone.’
- ‘What must he do to save his neck from the vampires who are after his blood?’
- ‘She would have to have bitten me four times before I became a vampire.’
- ‘The vampire fed and fed, until finally, there was no blood left in his young body.’
- ‘They found a coffin and when they opened it up, a vampire jumped out and drank their blood.’
- ‘He picked up the sword and swung, connecting with the vampire's neck.’
- ‘Why spend time talking when you could be more useful slaying vampires?’
- ‘A newly resurrected female vampire and her undead family prey on the staff and pupils of an Austrian finishing school.’
- ‘He realized that the other two vampires had vanished.’
- ‘There was a female vampire standing there holding Scott like he was a rag doll.’
- ‘Servants worked around me, trying to finish their jobs before night, when the vampires would wake.’
- ‘When the three turned at an intersection, ahead of them were a group of vampires feeding on several victims that were already lifeless.’
- ‘Among folk beliefs are various practices to prevent a corpse from becoming a vampire.’
- ‘A younger female vampire bounded up to him.’
- ‘There are two ways to kill a vampire in the immortal world.’
- ‘Ask anyone and they will tell you that to protect yourself from a vampire you will require: garlic, a crucifix, holy water, and a nice big, pointy stake.’
- ‘Most cultures had legends of vampires or shape-shifters who preyed on the living.’
- ‘It was not her first time allowing a vampire to feed on her blood.’
- ‘In the depths of the night stood three vampires with glowing yellow eyes.’
- 1.1 A person who preys ruthlessly on others.‘the protectionist vampires in the Congress’
- ‘There is still a place for vampires in the urban jungles where humanity habitually preys upon itself.’
- ‘He is the perpetually hungry scholar, too desiccated by poverty to return her love, a vampire preying on her bountiful spirit.’
- ‘Though they seem nice, they are actually power-hungry vampires, who manipulate you once you let your guard down.’
2A small bat that feeds on the blood of mammals or birds using its two sharp incisor teeth and anticoagulant saliva, found mainly in tropical America.
Family Desmodontidae (or Phyllostomidae): three species, in particular the common vampire (Desmodus rotundus)See also false vampire
- ‘It is quite common for a vampire bat to fail to feed on a given night.’
- ‘The vampire bat often spends several minutes at its chosen site, sniffing and licking before actually biting.’
- ‘When a vampire bat bites an animal, its saliva introduces an anticlotting agent to keep the blood meal flowing.’
- ‘Some scientists have suggested that the vampire bat developed its blood-sucking practice while it was an insect-eater, as most bats are.’
- ‘In the countryside of Mexico and in rural Central America it is common to assume all bats are vampires.’
3(in a theatre) a small spring trapdoor used for sudden disappearances from a stage.
- ‘Depending on its placement, the vampire trap made the actor alternately body and spirit.’
- ‘To operate the vampire trap the dancer threw herself against a couple of shutters in the stage floor, which opened to let her through and immediately closed.’
Mid 18th century: from French, from Hungarian vampir, perhaps from Turkish uber ‘witch’.
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