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VAMP'IRE, noun

1. In mythology, an imaginary demon, which was fabled to suck the blood of persons during the night.

2. In zoology, a species of large bat, the Vespertilio vampyrus of Linne, called also the ternate bat. It inhabits Guinea, Madagascar, the East India Isles, New Holland and New Caledonia. These animals fly in flocks, darkening the air by their numbers. It is said that this bat will insinuate his tongue into the vein of an animal imperceptibly, and suck his blood while asleep. This name is also given by Buffon to a species of large bat in South America, the V. spectrum of Linne.