zom·​bie | \ ˈzäm-bē How to pronounce zombie (audio) \
variants: or less commonly zombi

Definition of zombie

1a : a will-less and speechless human (as in voodoo belief and in fictional stories) held to have died and been supernaturally reanimated
b : the supernatural power that according to voodoo belief may enter into and reanimate a dead body
2a : a person held to resemble the so-called walking dead especially : automaton
b : a person markedly strange in appearance or behavior
3 : a mixed drink made of several kinds of rum, liqueur, and fruit juice

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Other Words from zombie

zombielike or zombie-like \ ˈzäm-​bē-​ˌlīk How to pronounce zombie (audio) \ adjective
… a morning rush of zombielike office workers, all starved for caffeine and clamoring for cappuccino. — Bob Filipczak
zomboid \ ˈzäm-​ˌbȯid How to pronounce zombie (audio) \ adjective
This is a poetry eerily populated with ghosts and mummies and zomboid creatures who go on living though dead from love. — Patrick McGarth

Examples of zombie in a Sentence

If I don't go to bed early I'll be a zombie tomorrow. His students usually sat there in the classroom like zombies.
Recent Examples on the Web Adding some additional pressure to the situation, the team must pull off the heist before the government nukes Las Vegas and its zombie population. Jon Blistein, Rolling Stone, "Vegas Vault Robbers Battle Zombies in Wild ‘Army of the Dead’ Trailer," 13 Apr. 2021 The story featuring Grimes will continue a whimsical, non-canonical adventure included in Walking Dead #75 which revealed that aliens were responsible for the zombie plague. Clark Collis, EW.com, "Walking Dead writer Robert Kirkman is reviving Rick Grimes for new comic Skybound X," 13 Apr. 2021 The Permian Basin is ground zero for a billion-dollar surge of zombie oil wells, Grist reports. Paul Douglas, Star Tribune, "Raw Friday - Chilly Relapse Next Week With Slushy Possibilities Tuesday," 8 Apr. 2021 Humanity’s got a full-tilt zombie outbreak on its hands. Matt Simon, Wired, "How to Kill a Zombie Fire," 24 Mar. 2021 Despite having nearly killed a guy in a barroom brawl, Negan isn’t much of a fighter of the undead — poor Lucille has to drag her meds outside and save him from a zombie dance partner. Richard Rys, Vulture, "The Walking Dead Season-Finale Recap: Jukebox Antihero," 4 Apr. 2021 Although players often will encounter zombie hordes, not all levels involve combat. Gieson Cacho, Star Tribune, "'Survival Z' is a fun mix of three classic video game elements," 31 Mar. 2021 When a zombie pandemic threatens to destroy humanity, a former United Nations investigator is forced back into service to try to uncover the source of the infection. Los Angeles Times, "Movies on TV this week: ‘Lust for Life’; ‘Platoon’ and more," 5 Mar. 2021 Her very creepy naked examination is explained as a zombie bite check, so as not to suggest any awful connotations otherwise. Richard Rys, Vulture, "The Walking Dead Recap: The Not-So-Good Place," 21 Mar. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'zombie.' 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 zombie

circa 1871, in the meaning defined at sense 1b

History and Etymology for zombie

Louisiana Creole or Haitian Creole zonbi, of Bantu origin; akin to Kimbundu nzúmbe ghost

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Time Traveler for zombie

Time Traveler

The first known use of zombie was circa 1871

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Statistics for zombie

Last Updated

20 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Zombie.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/zombie. Accessed 21 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for zombie



English Language Learners Definition of zombie

informal : a person who moves very slowly and is not aware of what is happening especially because of being very tired
: a dead person who is able to move because of magic according to some religions and in stories, movies, etc.


variants: also zombi \ ˈzäm-​bē \

Kids Definition of zombie

: a person who is believed to have died and been brought back to life without speech or free will

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Comments on zombie

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