zom·​bie ˈzäm-bē How to pronounce zombie (audio)
variants or less commonly zombi
: a will-less and speechless human (as in voodoo belief and in fictional stories) held to have died and been supernaturally reanimated
: the supernatural power that according to voodoo belief may enter into and reanimate a dead body
: a person held to resemble the so-called walking dead
especially : automaton
: a person markedly strange in appearance or behavior
: a mixed drink made of several kinds of rum, liqueur, and fruit juice
zombielike adjective
or zombie-like
… a morning rush of zombielike office workers, all starved for caffeine and clamoring for cappuccino. Bob Filipczak
zomboid 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 But some of these insects won’t succeed in their goal of procreating — instead, they’ll be controlled like zombies into spreading a strange fungus that hijacks cicadas’ bodies and behavior. Kate Golembiewski, CNN, 15 Apr. 2024 Yes, 20 years since a motley group of Brits chose to ride out the zombie apocalypse at their local pub. Longreads, 12 Apr. 2024 Vallow Daybell referred to her two youngest kids as zombies, one friend testified during her trial. CBS News, 10 Apr. 2024 He is attached to work on a sequel trilogy to 28 Days Later, the 2002 zombie feature that launched his career, and also has a Peaky Blinders movie in the works to follow his long-running period gangster TV series. Aaron Couch, The Hollywood Reporter, 25 Mar. 2024 But in January, the province saw an unprecedented peak of 106 active zombie fires. Chad Murphy, The Enquirer, 13 Mar. 2024 Scholars generally agree that horror entered the modern age in 1968, with the release of George Romero’s game-changing zombie movie Night of the Living Dead. Katie Rife, EW.com, 12 Mar. 2024 And the 1978 movie has held up incredibly well over the years — much better than most of Romero’s other zombie epics. Jim Harrington, The Mercury News, 1 Apr. 2024 The cultural preoccupation with zombies shambles on in The Last of Us and other movies and video games. Neda Ulaby, NPR, 1 Apr. 2024

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

Word History


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

First Known Use

1928, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of zombie was in 1928

Dictionary Entries Near zombie

Cite this Entry

“Zombie.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/zombie. Accessed 21 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


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

Louisiana Creole or Haitian Creole zonbi, of Bantu origin

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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