1. [syn: vampire bat, true vampire bat]
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
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.
2. Fig.: One who lives by preying on others; an extortioner;
3. (Zool.) 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 caecal appendage to the stomach, in which the
blood with which they gorge themselves is stored.
4. (Zool.) 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.
Vampire bat (Zool.), a vampire, 3.
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):
n 1: any of various tropical American bats of the family
Desmodontidae that bite mammals and birds to feed on their
blood [syn: vampire bat, true vampire bat]