AskDefine | Define vamp

Dictionary Definition



1 a seductive woman who uses her sex appeal to exploit men [syn: coquette, flirt, vamper, minx, tease, prickteaser]
2 an improvised musical accompaniment
3 piece of leather forming the front part of the upper of a shoe


1 make up; "vamp up an excuse for not attending the meeting" [syn: vamp up]
2 piece (something old) with a new part; "vamp up an old speech" [syn: vamp up]
3 act seductively with (someone)
4 provide (a shoe) with a new vamp; "revamp my old boots" [syn: revamp]

User Contributed Dictionary



Etymology 1

c.1225, "top part of a shoe or stocking"; from Anglo-Norman *vaumpé; from avantpié, from avant + pié. See pied.
  • The meaning, "repeated, improvised musical figure" is c.1789, from an extension of the shoemaker sense meaning "something cobbled together".


  1. In the context of "shoemaking": The top part of a boot or shoe, above the sole and welt and in front of the ankle seam, that covers the instep and toes; an upperdef. 2
  2. Something added to give an old thing a new appearance; a patch.
  3. Something patched up, pieced together, improvised, or refurbished.
  4. An improvised accompaniment, particularly a simple chord progression, repeated as necessary to accomodate dialogue or anticipate the entrance of a soloist.
  5. (by extension) An activity or speech intended to fill time or stall.


  1. To apply a vamp (shoemaking).
  2. To patch, repair, or refurbish.
  3. (often as vamp up) to put together, improvise, or fabricate.
    We quickly vamped up some talking points for the debate even though we hadn't researched the topic.
  4. To perform a vamp; to perform a repeated, often improvised accompaniment under dialogue or awaiting the readiness of a soloist.
    Keep vamping! Something's wrong with the mic!
    Start the verse when you're ready, hon. The accompanist will just vamp the intro for you.
  5. To stall or delay, as for an audience.
    She went out there to vamp, since the speaker was late arriving.
Derived terms

Etymology 2

c.1911, short for vampire. Likely from Theda Bara, who created the classic role of the sultry vampire in the Broadway play A Fool There Was and the 1915 film of the same name. First used by G. K. Chesterton. Also popularized in the silent film The Vamp starring Enid Bennett.


  1. A flirtatious, seductive woman, often one who uses sexual desire to exploit men.
  2. A volunteer fire fighter.
Derived terms
seductive woman


  1. To seduce or exploit someone.

Extensive Definition

Vamp may refer to:
Vamp may also refer to:
vamp in German: Vamp
vamp in French: Vamp
vamp in Portuguese: Vamp

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Aspasia, Circe, Delilah, Don Juan, Jezebel, Lorelei, Messalina, Parthenope, Phryne, Siren, Thais, Vorspiel, ad-lib, adventuress, allure, attract, becharm, beguile, bewitch, brighten up, brush up, cadenza, captivate, captive, carry away, cast a spell, catch, charm, charmer, concert overture, conquest, cook up, coquette, courtesan, curtain raiser, dash off, date, demimondaine, demimonde, demirep, descant, do offhand, do up, dramatic overture, draw on, enamor, enchant, enchanter, enchantress, endear, enrapture, enravish, enthrall, enticer, entrance, extempore, extemporize, fake, fascinate, femme fatale, fire brigade, fire department, fire fighter, fire warden, fire-chaser, fire-eater, fireman, fix, fix up, flirt, flourish, forest fire fighter, freshen, furbish, furbish up, gold, gold digger, harem girl, hetaera, hold in thrall, honey, hot lick, houri, hypnotize, impromptu, improvisate, improvisation, improvise, infatuate, inflame with love, interpolation, intrigue, introduction, inveigler, jury-rig, knock off, lash up, lick, make up, mesmerize, odalisque, operatic overture, overhaul, overture, patch, play by ear, polish, polish up, prelude, rebuild, recondition, reconstruct, refurbish, renovate, repair, retouch, revamp, revive, riff, rub up, scrap the plan, seduce, seducer, seductress, shine, siren, smokechaser, smokejumper, spell, spellbind, spruce, spruce up, steady, strike off, strumpet, sweet patootie, sweetheart, sweetie, tantalize, teaser, tempt, tempter, temptress, throw off, throw together, tone up, toss off, toss out, touch up, transport, vamp up, vampire, voluntary, volunteer fireman, whip up, whomp up, whore, wing it, witch
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