1. In popular folklore, an undead being in human form that survives by sucking the blood of living people, especially at night.
2. A person, such as an extortionist, who takes advantage of others, especially for personal gain.
3. A vampire bat.
[French vampyre, from German Vampir, from Serbian vampir; akin to Czech upír and Russian upyr', from Proto-Slavic *ǫpirĭ, *ǫpyrĭ, possibly of Turkic origin; compare Chuvash vupăr, vampire, Tatar ubır, vampire, vampiric witch, and Turkish obur, glutton, all possibly from Proto-Turkic *ōp-, to gulp down, swallow.]
vam·piric (văm-pĭrĭk), vam·piri·cal (-ĭ-kəl), vampir′ish (-ĭsh) adj.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.