Definition of chupacabra
: a grotesque creature that drinks the blood of livestock and is reported to exist in North and South America In 2004 some Texans sent samples of what they were convinced was a chupacabra—a legendary hairless beast that drains the blood of its prey. — Amanda Bower Davis, Time, 30 Jan. 2006 Some swear the creature is actually a vampire—resembling a large rat, but with horns and fangs … In any case, the Chupacabra … reportedly drains the blood of cows, sheep, and goats throughout the republic, leaving an unusually shaped wound. — Diana Reiss-Koncar, Vibe, April 1997
Love words? You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.
Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:
- More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
- Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
- Advanced search features
- Ad free!
Origin and Etymology of chupacabra
borrowed from American Spanish chupacabra, chupacabras, from Spanish chupa, 3rd person singular present tense of chupar “to suck” (probably of imitative origin) + cabra “goat” (cabras, plural) — more at cabrilla ◆Perhaps originally a calque on Latin caprimulgus, English goatsucker, and numerous other vernacular names for birds of the nightjar family. The corresponding Spanish name for the bird is not chupacabras, but rather chotacabras, in which chota is perhaps a now obsolete verb for “suck” (cf. choto “kid, suckling goat”).
First Known Use: 1995
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up chupacabra? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).