Vampire bat(Zoöl.), a vampire, 3.

(Vam"pir*ism) n. [Cf. F. vampirisme.]

1. Belief in the existence of vampires.

2. The actions of a vampire; the practice of bloodsucking.

3. Fig.: The practice of extortion. Carlyle.

(Vam"plate`) n. [F. avant fore, fore + E. plate.] A round of iron on the shaft of a tilting spear, to protect the hand. [Written also vamplet.]

(Va"mure) n. See Vauntmure. [Obs.]

(Van) n. [Abbrev. fr. vanguard.] The front of an army; the first line or leading column; also, the front line or foremost division of a fleet, either in sailing or in battle.

Standards and gonfalons, twixt van and rear,
Stream in the air.

(Van), n. [Cornish.] (Mining) A shovel used in cleansing ore.

(Van), v. t. (Mining) To wash or cleanse, as a small portion of ore, on a shovel. Raymond.

(Van), n. [Abbreviated from caravan.]

1. A light wagon, either covered or open, used by tradesmen and others fore the transportation of goods. [Eng.]

2. A large covered wagon for moving furniture, etc., also for conveying wild beasts, etc., for exhibition.

3. A close railway car for baggage. See the Note under Car, 2. [Eng.]

(Vamp"er), v. i. [Cf. Vaunt.] To swagger; to make an ostentatious show. [Prov. eng. & Scot.] Jamieson.

(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 is now prevalent in parts of Eastern Europe, and was especially current in Hungary about the year 1730.

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; a bloodsucker.

3. (Zoöl.) 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 cæcal appendage to the stomach, in which the blood with which they gorge themselves is stored.

4. (Zoöl.) 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.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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