Vampire

Vam"pire

(?), n. [F. vampire (cf. It. vampiro, G. & D. vampir), fr. Servian vampir.]
[Written also vampyre.]
1. A blood-sucking ghost; a soul of a dead person superstitiously believed to come from the grave and wander about by night sucking the blood of persons asleep, thus causing their death. This superstition was once prevalent in parts of Eastern Europe, and was especially current in Hungary about the year 1730. The vampire was often said to have the ability to transform itself into the form of a bat, as presented in the novel depicting the legend of Dracula published by Bram Stoker in 1897, which has inspired several movies.
[1913 Webster + PJC]

The persons who turn vampires are generally wizards, witches, suicides, and persons who have come to a violent end, or have been cursed by their parents or by the church,
Encyc. Brit.
[1913 Webster]

2. Fig.: One who lives by preying on others; an extortioner; a bloodsucker.
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3. (Zol.) Either one of two or more species of South American blood-sucking bats belonging to the genera Desmodus and Diphylla; also called vampire bat. These bats are destitute of molar teeth, but have strong, sharp cutting incisors with which they make punctured wounds from which they suck the blood of horses, cattle, and other animals, as well as man, chiefly during sleep. They have a ccal appendage to the stomach, in which the blood with which they gorge themselves is stored.
[1913 Webster]

4. (Zol.) Any one of several species of harmless tropical American bats of the genus Vampyrus, especially Vampyrus spectrum. These bats feed upon insects and fruit, but were formerly erroneously supposed to suck the blood of man and animals. Called also false vampire.
[1913 Webster]

Vampire bat (Zol.), a vampire, 3.
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[1913 Webster]

 

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Mon 10th December 2018