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-like (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 zomboid (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

Turns out that the zombie apocalypse actually ends happily ever after. Sydney Bucksbaum, EW.com, "Rob Thomas breaks down iZombie's happy ending — and why it's so different from Veronica Mars," 2 Aug. 2019 Stone, Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg and Abigail Breslin return as the unlikely humans who shot and bickered their way through the zombie apocalypse (phase one). Bryan Alexander, USA TODAY, "'Zombieland: Double Tap' first trailer takes the undead killing to the White House," 25 July 2019 With news of the exit also came word that the zombie apocalypse drama is getting some new warm bodies. Whitney Friedlander, CNN, "Danai Gurira confirms 'The Walking Dead' exit as Thora Birch, Kevin Carroll join cast," 19 July 2019 Tilda Swinton plays a samurai Scot who is completely prepared for zombie apocalypse. Kyle Smith, National Review, "If Hipsters Became Zombies, Could We Tell the Difference?," 11 June 2019 This event features multiple pubs on the North Highland Avenue stretch, on-site zombie make-up artists, special guests, an Atlanta Zombie Pin-Up Contest and more.4-11 p.m. July 27, Diesel Filling Station (registration), 870 North Highland Ave. Shane Harrison, ajc, "Things to do in and around Atlanta: July 19-27," 18 July 2019 There's also a similar problem of zombie banks that eat up capital without providing the loans needed to spur economic growth. Julia Horowitz, CNN, "Europe is sleepwalking its way to another lost decade," 18 July 2019 Betaal is set during British colonial rule in a remote village where a two-century old evil spirit, a British Indian army officer and his batallion of zombie redcoats are unleashed. Nyay Bhushan, The Hollywood Reporter, "Netflix Greenlights Indian Horror Series From Shah Rukh Khan, Blumhouse, Ivanhoe," 16 July 2019 Room 9, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Scooby-Doo: Return to Zombie Island Pack your Scooby Snacks and join the Mystery Inc. gang as the teen sleuths embark on a wild and spooky vacation with zombies and cat people on Scooby-Doo! San Diego Union-Tribune, "Comic-Con: Here’s your Sunday schedule," 8 July 2019

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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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

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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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).


a period when something is suspended

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