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 is now prevalent in parts of Eastern Europe, and was
especially current in Hungary about the year 1730.
Fig.: One who lives by preying on others; an extortioner;
Either one of two or more species of South American
blood-sucking bats belonging to the genera Desmodus and Diphylla. 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.
Any one of several species of harmless tropical American
bats of the genus Vampyrus, especially V. 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.