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

Keep scrolling for more

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 Kim, who also wrote the hit dramas Signal and Phantom, decided to reinvent the plague as a zombie virus. Joan Macdonald, Forbes, 4 June 2021 The zombie apocalypse show shuffles back for Season 11. oregonlive, 1 June 2021 The writing was crisp, with great banter, fun characters, over-the-top action, and the addition of both a heist element as well as excesses like a zombie tiger. Andy Meek, BGR, 29 May 2021 Deserted lobbies and empty escalators add to the overwhelming zombie-mall weirdness of it all. New York Times, 28 May 2021 Bear in mind, this was before the movie was out and audience learned the fates of every single character, so that doesn't exactly confirm a zombie adventure down in Mexico. Rachel Paige, refinery29.com, 24 May 2021 Snyder added that the zombie baby was proof that the alphas are evolving beyond the need for humans as meat or fodder to create more alphas. Bethy Squires, Vulture, 24 May 2021 Subsisting on the meager oxygen available beneath the snow, zombie fires can smolder for months, long after flames above ground have been extinguished. Ashley Strickland, CNN, 22 May 2021 Working from a list of 54 overwintering fires identified by firefighters, the researchers developed an algorithm to identify additional zombie fires from sources including satellite and sensor data. BostonGlobe.com, 19 May 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about zombie

Time Traveler for zombie

Time Traveler

The first known use of zombie was circa 1871

See more words from the same year

Statistics for zombie

Last Updated

7 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Zombie.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/zombie. Accessed 12 Jun. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Dog Breeds

How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!