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definition of the word vamp

by the Wiktionnary

c.1225, "top part of a shoe or stocking"; from Anglo-Norman *vaumpé; from Old French avantpié, from avant (in front) + pié (foot). See pied (foot).



vamp (plural vamps)

  1. (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. (music) A repeated and often improvised accompaniment, usually consisting of one or two measures, particularly a simple chord progression, repeated as necessary to accommodate dialogue or to anticipate the entrance of a soloist.
  5. (by extension) An activity or speech intended to fill time or stall.

to vamp

Third person singular

Simple past

Past participle

Present participle

to vamp (third-person singular simple present vamps, present participle vamping, simple past and past participle vamped)

  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. (music) 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.

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.



vamp (plural vamps)

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

Definition from Wiktionary
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