vampire bat

noun

Definition of vampire bat

: any of several bats (Desmodus rotundus, Diaemus youngi, and Diphylla ecaudata of the subfamily Desmodontinae of the family Phyllostomidae) of Mexico and Central and South America that feed on the blood of birds and mammals and especially domestic animals and that are sometimes vectors of disease and especially of rabies also : any of several other bats (as of the families Megadermatidae and Phyllostomidae) that do not feed on blood but are sometimes reputed to do so

Illustration of vampire bat

Illustration of vampire bat

Examples of vampire bat in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Structural Success The Julius lab sports an eclectic mix of chemistry diagrams and photos of animals that his students have studied, such as snakes and vampire bats. Quanta Magazine, "Scientists Reveal Structure of Pain Sensor," 20 Feb. 2014 Although insects are very big in the blood-feeding world, leeches occupy a special place in the human imagination — somewhere between vampire bats and that tiny fish that was once reputed to swim up the human urethra. James Gorman, New York Times, "Meet the Bloodsuckers," 28 Oct. 2019 Take the common vampire bat, which feeds entirely on blood surreptitiously gleaned from sleeping mammals. Jake Buehler, National Geographic, "This bat tunes into raucous frog serenades to locate dinner," 3 Oct. 2019 Even snub-nosed, blood-sucky vampire bats have some endearing traits. Aj Willingham, CNN, "Wildfire helpers, a famous cat and some adorable costumes," 2 Nov. 2019 Her father had been a madman who practiced vivisection on human beings; the cruel scientist’s mistress — and Harriet’s mother — was a partly black Creole, who had inherited a taste for blood from the bite of a vampire bat. Michael Dirda, Washington Post, "Sure ‘Dracula’ is great, but don’t overlook Florence Marryat’s ‘The Blood of the Vampire’," 29 Oct. 2019 Although some people may first think of the blood-drinking vampire bat, there are also insectivorous and fruit bats. Mary Grace Keller, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "Not just a ‘Halloween thing’ for Taneytown advocate, who says bats benefit environment year-round," 28 Oct. 2019 Camazotz might've been inspired by an ancient species of vampire bat that the Mayan Kʼicheʼ people of Guatemala may have seen attacking and drinking the blood of larger animals (and possibly humans). Andrew Daniels, Popular Mechanics, "The OG Batman Was Actually a Mesoamerican Humanoid Monster," 28 June 2019 Today's common vampire bat, Desmodus rotundus, has an 8-inch wingspan, much smaller than its ancestor, D. draculae. Andrew Daniels, Popular Mechanics, "The OG Batman Was Actually a Mesoamerican Humanoid Monster," 28 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'vampire bat.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of vampire bat

1790, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for vampire bat

Time Traveler

The first known use of vampire bat was in 1790

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Statistics for vampire bat

Last Updated

10 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Vampire bat.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/vampire%20bat. Accessed 25 January 2020.

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More Definitions for vampire bat

vampire bat

noun

English Language Learners Definition of vampire bat

: a bat from Central and South America that sucks the blood of people and animals

vampire bat

noun

Kids Definition of vampire bat

: a bat of tropical America that feeds on the blood of birds and mammals

vampire bat

noun

Medical Definition of vampire bat

: any of several Central and South American bats (Desmodus rotundus, Diaemus youngi, and Diphylla ecaudata) that feed on the blood of birds and mammals and especially domestic animals and that are sometimes vectors of disease and especially of rabies also : any of several other bats that do not feed on blood but are sometimes reputed to do so

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More from Merriam-Webster on vampire bat

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with vampire bat

Nglish: Translation of vampire bat for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about vampire bat

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