zom·​bie | \ˈzäm-bē \
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 \ adjective
… a morning rush of zombielike office workers, all starved for caffeine and clamoring for cappuccino. — Bob Filipczak
zomboid \ ˈzäm-​ˌbȯid \ 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

Caracas has long been a dangerous yet vibrant city, but the crisis has transformed it into a zombie movie set. Anatoly Kurmanaev, WSJ, "The Tragedy of Venezuela," 24 May 2018 By round five, Ngannou looked like a tired zombie, barely throwing punches as the fight crawled to a finish. Troy L. Smith, cleveland.com, "Stipe Miocic's win at UFC 220 cements him as the GOAT," 20 Jan. 2018 After warning folks about a few salty words in the lyrics, Briggs sang about a boyfriend who wears Gucci shoes, likes zombies and shares his Juicy Fruit gum. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Best and worst of Summerfest Day 6: Steven Tyler, Foster the People, Trace Adkins and more," 3 July 2018 The aliens have tagged the adults of the world with a device that leaves them in a zombie-like state. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "A transgender girl rises up against alien invaders in Rich Larson’s novel Annex," 8 July 2018 One clip sees Gomez gargle an eyeball, roll–back zombie eyes and eat icing off her leg with a butcher’s knife. Lars Brandle, Billboard, "Selena Gomez Turns Scream Queen for Petra Collins' New Horror Film: Watch the Teaser," 21 June 2018 Image Never underestimate the ability of the French to find deep meaning in the zombie apocalypse. Jason Zinoman, New York Times, "Review: In ‘The Night Eats the World,’ Zombie Apocalypse Now, Again," 12 July 2018 Andrew Lincoln, who plays the central character in AMC's long-running, zombie apocalypse drama, will leave during the upcoming Season 9, according to news reports. Bill Keveney, USA TODAY, "Reports: Andrew Lincoln to leave 'The Walking Dead' during upcoming Season 9," 29 May 2018 After surviving Jack the Ripper’s rampage, put some spook in your spokes with a zombie bike ride, or play it safe by hitting up a street fair with more than 120 vendors. Sarah Bahr, Indianapolis Star, "Ultimate Indiana bucket list: 50+ things to do in Indianapolis and around the state," 11 July 2018

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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Dictionary Entries near zombie





zombie bank



Statistics for zombie

Last Updated

31 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for zombie

The first known use of zombie was circa 1871

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More Definitions for zombie



Financial Definition of zombie

What It Is

A zombie is a company that continues to operate even though its liabilities exceed its assets (in other words, it has a net worth of zero).

How It Works

Let's say Bank XYZ has $1 billion in assets (loans it has made to customers) and $2 billion in liabilities (delinquent loans, interest payments due to customers, debt it may have borrowed, etc.). Bank XYZ could declare bankruptcy and default on its obligations at any time, but for now it is still alive.

Why It Matters

Zombies are very risky investments because they could die at any time. However, some zombies might receive sudden financing, such as government bailouts or other money, which could prompt a turnaround that might make shareholders suddenly wealthy.

Source: Investing Answers



English Language Learners Definition of zombie

: 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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More from Merriam-Webster on zombie

Spanish Central: Translation of zombie

Nglish: Translation of zombie for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of zombie for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about zombie

Comments on zombie

What made you want to look up zombie? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to express warning or disapproval

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