There are 2 main definitions of vamp in English:

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vamp1

Line breaks: vamp
Pronunciation: /vamp
 
/

noun

1The upper front part of a boot or shoe: heavy lace-ups with basket weave in the vamp
More example sentences
  • As far a cross-trainers are concerned, there are four models available, all characterized by decisive and showy styling accented by a richly-detailed vamp.
  • The sandal has the extra details of a butterfly at the vamp and a more wrapped strap around the ankle.
  • The pump was the basic shoe, but its toes might be cut, the vamps curved or cut in enticing Vs, or the heels molded into a variety of shapes.
2(In jazz and popular music) a short, simple introductory passage, usually repeated several times until otherwise instructed: the title track has an overlong vamp
More example sentences
  • Her section of the tune ends quickly, leading to an instrumental vamp with layers and layers of woodwinds and some nice acoustic guitar.
  • Instead of returning to the original melody, they play a countermelody against the vamp.
  • After a short, nearly atonal string interlude, the rhythm section breaks in with an Arabic-sounding, odd-metered vamp.

verb

Back to top  
1 [with object] (vamp something up) informal Repair or improve something: the production values have been vamped up
More example sentences
  • His sister Coleen, a designer in New York, vamped up the interiors.
  • Producers have vamped up the usually dull earlier rounds by giving contestants a band and audience to sing with.
  • Over the past year we have really vamped up the show.
Synonyms
update, bring up to date, improve;
informal do up, fix up, give something a facelift, tart up, vamp up, patch up
North American informal rehab
2 [no object] Repeat a short, simple passage of music: the band was vamping gently behind his busy lead guitar
More example sentences
  • Their performances often consisted of the group vamping on a single groove for two hours at a time.
  • The song doesn't ask much of her range, allowing her to vamp as much as she wants.
  • Like pieces from a musician, her collection of poetry vamps through various repeated patterns and themes truly fulfilling the ‘ostinato’ description in her title.
3 [with object] Attach a new upper to (a boot or shoe).
Example sentences
  • Stitching together the ends of a shoe upper is ordinarily the practice as a preliminary step to vamping the shoe.

Origin

Middle English (denoting the foot of a stocking): shortening of Old French avantpie, from avant 'before' + pie 'foot'. The musical sense of the verb developed from the general sense 'improvise'.

More
  • From around 1200 the vamp was the part of a stocking that covered the foot and ankle, and from the 17th century the upper front part of a boot or shoe. The word comes from an early form of French avantpied, from avant ‘before’ and pied ‘foot’ ( compare vanguard at caravan). One of the cobbler's regular tasks was to replace vamps, and from the late 16th century the job could be described as vamping boots and shoes (revamp is only found from the mid 19th century). This cobbling work gave rise to a general sense ‘to improvise’ and to vamp up, ‘to repair or improve’. The ‘improvise’ sense survives in jazz and popular music, where to vamp is to repeat a short, simple passage of music. The vamp who uses her sexual attraction to exploit men is an early 20th-century shortening of vampire.

Words that rhyme with vamp

amp, camp, champ, clamp, cramp, damp, encamp, gamp, lamp, ramp, samp, scamp, stamp, tamp, tramp

Definition of vamp in:

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There are 2 main definitions of vamp in English:

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vamp2

Line breaks: vamp
Pronunciation: /vamp
 
/
informal

noun

A woman who uses sexual attraction to exploit men: the film-makers never allow her to become a truly saucy vamp
More example sentences
  • The legend of Mata Hari is, for sure, the most enduring image of the female spy - the vamp who wheedles state secrets out of men by her seductive charms.
  • It's as if she can't make up her mind whether she wants to be a siren, a vamp or a frump.
  • Bollywood was a risqué world with money but little class where the vamps flashed thigh and cleavage and the heroes kept their shirts unbuttoned.
Synonyms
flirt, coquette, tease, Lolita
informal tart, mantrap
North American informal hoochie

verb

[with object] Back to top  
Blatantly set out to attract (a man): she had not vamped him like some wicked Jezebel
More example sentences
  • The only problem is that he is constantly drawn to Harlem's Paddy's Bar where he is ceaselessly vamped by the fun-loving Zarita.
  • He gets vamped by every woman from his flirtatious mom to Ophelia.
  • She vamps him by saying, ‘Your royal highness is so cute.’
Synonyms
seduce, tempt, lure, beguile, entice;
flirt with, make up to, make eyes at, lead on, toy with, trifle with, philander with
informal pull, chat up

Origin

early 20th century: abbreviation of vampire.

More
  • From around 1200 the vamp was the part of a stocking that covered the foot and ankle, and from the 17th century the upper front part of a boot or shoe. The word comes from an early form of French avantpied, from avant ‘before’ and pied ‘foot’ ( compare vanguard at caravan). One of the cobbler's regular tasks was to replace vamps, and from the late 16th century the job could be described as vamping boots and shoes (revamp is only found from the mid 19th century). This cobbling work gave rise to a general sense ‘to improvise’ and to vamp up, ‘to repair or improve’. The ‘improvise’ sense survives in jazz and popular music, where to vamp is to repeat a short, simple passage of music. The vamp who uses her sexual attraction to exploit men is an early 20th-century shortening of vampire.

Derivatives

vampish

1
adjective
Example sentences
  • She's presenting herself as vampish and vulnerable, sexually voracious and sexually unsure, all at the same time.
  • ‘Watch this space,’ she grins with wide, vampish lips, and disappears off to her B&B in Milnthope Road.
  • There is something vampish and at the same time understated about her vocal presentation.

vampishly

2
adverb
Example sentences
  • Most of the women were vampishly pursuing her husband, but in her restrained blouse, skirt and sandals, she was somehow the sexiest actress on the stage.
  • She is pictured draped over a sofa in a red dress vampishly slashed to the thigh.
  • Osborne, looking vampishly sexy in a tight light-blue gown, debuted four new songs from an album-in-progress.

vampishness

3
noun
Example sentences
  • But vampishness was a notably visual attribute, and worked much better in silents than it did later in talkies.
  • I am quite shy and gentle by nature and find her vampishness quite intimidating and unsettling.
  • But women seem to think that elegance and vampishness are sexually stimulating to men.

vampy

4
adjective (vampier, vampiest)
Example sentences
  • She pulled off a really great show but I would love to see her put on more of a show maybe by being more of a dark vampy temptress.
  • With the vintage costumes, the vampy dance moves, and the occasionally campy songs, the entertainers' underlying message to their customers seems clear: We may have come-hither eyes, but this is all an act.
  • He was notoriously unfaithful, often falling prey to the charms of vampy female villains.

Definition of vamp in:

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