noun (1)
\ ˈvamp How to pronounce vamp (audio) \

Definition of vamp

 (Entry 1 of 4)

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


verb (1)
vamped; vamping; vamps

Definition of vamp (Entry 2 of 4)

transitive verb

: to practice seductive wiles on

intransitive verb

: to act like a vamp vamping for the camera


noun (2)

Definition of vamp (Entry 3 of 4)

1 : 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
2 [derivative of vamp entry 4] : a short introductory musical passage often repeated several times (as in vaudeville) before a solo or between verses


verb (2)
vamped; vamping; vamps

Definition of vamp (Entry 4 of 4)

transitive verb

1a : to provide (a shoe) with a new vamp
b : to piece (something old) with a new part : patch vamp up old sermons
2 : invent, fabricate vamp up an excuse

intransitive verb

1 : to play a musical vamp

Other Words from vamp

Noun (1)

vampish \ ˈvam-​pish How to pronounce vamp (audio) \ adjective

Verb (2)

vamper noun

First Known Use of vamp

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

History and Etymology for vamp

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

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Cite this Entry

“Vamp.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 May. 2021.

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