1 of 4

noun (1)

: a woman who uses her charm or wiles to seduce and exploit men
vampish adjective


2 of 4

verb (1)

vamped; vamping; vamps

transitive verb

: to practice seductive wiles on

intransitive verb

: to act like a vamp
vamping for the camera


3 of 4

noun (2)

: the part of a shoe upper or boot upper covering especially the forepart of the foot and sometimes also extending forward over the toe or backward to the back seam of the upper
[derivative of vamp entry 4] : a short introductory musical passage often repeated several times (as in vaudeville) before a solo or between verses


4 of 4

verb (2)

vamped; vamping; vamps

transitive verb

: to provide (a shoe) with a new vamp
: to piece (something old) with a new part : patch
vamp up old sermons
: invent, fabricate
vamp up an excuse

intransitive verb

: to play a musical vamp
vamper noun

Examples of vamp in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Cycling through a series of high boots, Beyoncé vogued and vamped, swaggered and stampeded. Bob Gendron, Chicago Tribune, 23 July 2023 The satirist aims his ageless wit on a Prohibition-era entertainment industry still vamping its way out of Vaudeville. Boris Kachka, Los Angeles Times, 11 Apr. 2023 To execute the latter, Soper brings in Pleasure and Idleness, who vamp their way through an insinuating showstopper that rests on a four-note descending bass, in the tradition of the Baroque lament. Alex Ross, The New Yorker, 6 Mar. 2023 Shot atop a Los Angeles skyscraper, the ultra-glamorous shoot allowed Hudson to vamp it up. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, 2 Nov. 2021 While the mark of a truly good broadcaster is the ability to vamp through a blowout, this was a step beyond. Bill Goodykoontz, The Arizona Republic, 4 June 2021
The tease also seemed to preview what looked like a music video, with a shot in which Meg bared her vamp fangs again, as well as an image of a bowl of fruit and other totems on an altar. Gil Kaufman, Billboard, 24 Oct. 2023 Each vamp holds one of the hats to have been stuffed with either names or dares. Matt Thompson, SPIN, 8 Nov. 2023 Browse through 12 color options including bright yellow, green, light pink, royal blue, and black using Nike’s 3D builder to change 12 parts of the sneaker like the vamp, tip, tongue, lining, swoosh, midsole, and more. Lauren Fischer, Peoplemag, 1 Nov. 2023 Qualley’s white Mary Janes featured a minuscule heel and beading on the vamp, which matched the beaded neckline of her first wedding look, a silky halter sheath dress. Hannah Jackson, Vogue, 21 Aug. 2023 So, among the 10 tracks on that studio album are rock and funk vamps, a bit of Latin groove, and one all-out skronk fest featuring guitarists Marc Ribot and Nels Cline. Jon Garelick,, 30 Aug. 2023 The key with the 2023 silhouettes is a level of curvature elsewhere in the shoe, whether that's the heel or at the vamp and top line. Marykate Boylan, Town & Country, 22 Aug. 2023 To start the festivities, the Only Murders in the Building star went full vamp in a sheer red tube dress with floral appliques, which perfectly matched a pair of strappy black heels with their own red flower embellishments. Emily Tannenbaum, Glamour, 23 July 2023 Unlike the vampires of yesteryear, Katherine Pierce and the vamps of TVD wear normal clothes; just add some DIY SFX makeup. Kia Goosby, Seventeen, 15 June 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'vamp.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Noun (1)

short for vampire

Noun (2)

Middle English vampe, vaumpe "covering for the foot, upper of a shoe," borrowed from Anglo-French, probably truncated from *vampé, reduced form of avanpié, from avant- "fore-" + pié "foot," going back to Latin ped-, pēs — more at vanguard, foot entry 1

First Known Use

Noun (1)

1918, in the meaning defined above

Verb (1)

circa 1915, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Noun (2)

1914, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb (2)

1599, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of vamp was in 1599

Dictionary Entries Near vamp

Cite this Entry

“Vamp.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Nov. 2023.

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