la·​mia | \ ˈlā-mē-ə How to pronounce lamia (audio) \

Definition of lamia

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a female demon : vampire


geographical name
La·​mia | \ lä-ˈmē-ä How to pronounce Lamia (audio) \

Definition of Lamia (Entry 2 of 2)

city in east central Greece northwest of Thermopylae population 43,898

Did You Know?

According to Greek mythology, Lamia was a queen of Libya who was beloved by Zeus. When Hera, Zeus's wife, robbed Lamia of her children from this union, Lamia killed every child she could get into her power. Stories were also told of a fiend named Lamia who, in the form of a beautiful woman, seduced young men in order to devour them and who also sucked the blood of children. Such nightmarish legends compelled poet John Keats, and many other writers before and after him, to write their own tales of Lamia, which still haunt and terrify those souls who dare read them.

First Known Use of lamia


14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for lamia


Middle English, from Latin, from Greek, devouring monster; akin to Greek lamyros gluttonous

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Cite this Entry

“Lamia.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Mar. 2021.

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