Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun In voodoo belief and popular folklore, a corpse that has been reanimated, especially by means of a supernatural power or spell.
  • noun One who looks or behaves like an automaton.
  • noun A computer connected to the internet and controlled by a remote unauthorized user to perform malicious tasks, without the owner being aware.
  • noun A bank or business that cannot meet its financial obligations or make new loans but has been allowed to continue operating by the government.
  • noun A snake god of voodoo cults in West Africa, Haiti, and the southern United States.
  • noun A tall mixed drink made of various rums, liqueur, and fruit juice.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A snake god or fetish in religions of West Africa and elsewhere.
  • noun A person, usually undead, animated by unnatural forces (such as magic), with no soul or will of his/her own.
  • noun fiction, horror A deceased person who becomes reanimate to attack the living.
  • noun figuratively An apathetic person.
  • noun figuratively A human being in a state of extreme mental exhaustion.
  • noun computing A process or task which has terminated but was not removed from the list of processes, typically because it has child processes that have not yet terminated.
  • noun computing A computer affected by malware which causes it to do whatever the attacker wants it to do without the user's knowledge.
  • noun A cocktail of rum and fruit juices.
  • noun philosophy A hypothetical person who lacks self awareness.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a god of voodoo cults of African origin worshipped especially in West Indies
  • noun a dead body that has been brought back to life by a supernatural force
  • noun (voodooism) a spirit or supernatural force that reanimates a dead body
  • noun several kinds of rum with fruit juice and usually apricot liqueur
  • noun someone who acts or responds in a mechanical or apathetic way

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Louisiana French Creole and Haitian Creole zonbi and of Bantu origin; akin to Kimbundu nzúmbi, ghost, soul, spirit.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Bantu. Compare Kikongo zumbi (fetish), Kimbundu nzambi (god), and Caribbean folklore's jumbee (a spirit or demon). May also be related to sombra.

Examples

  • The term zombie company is a throwback to the 1990s when the Japan's asset bubble burst and large corporations avoided bankruptcy by being kept alive with loans from banks that also held their stock.

    BusinessWeek.com -- Top News

  • So when I use the term zombie I am not referring to a specific bank today, but rather the effect this legislation has.

    US Market Commentary from Seeking Alpha

  • Stuart Gordon says the term zombie originates from the African Congo word zumbi, which means 'enslaved spirit.'

    Earthpages.ca - Think Free

  • So when I use the term zombie I am not referring to a specific bank today, but rather the effect this legislation has.

    SeekingAlpha.com: Home Page

  • Even worse, the term zombie is used to describe people and institutions that should be capable of decisive action at this critical moment.

    New Jersey Real Estate Report

  • Grahame-Smith prefers to use words such as “undead,” “unmentionables” and “plague stricken” instead; although, the word zombie is peppered throughout.

    Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (copy)

  • Grahame-Smith prefers to use words such as “undead,” “unmentionables” and “plague stricken” instead; although, the word zombie is peppered throughout.

    Archive 2009-10-01

  • Graham says people shouldn't get caught up on that word nationalization, that we cannot keep funding what he calls zombie banks without the public taking control.

    CNN Transcript Feb 18, 2009

  • It had to be some kind of demon, had to be, because the word her brain came up with, the word zombie, was not possible.

    Personal Demons

  • And I know you can't comment specifically on any deals but maybe you could just talk about what you're seeing up in your marker right now, on sort of whether there is an increase in sort of what I call zombie banks versus FDIC deals.

    Huntington Bancshares CEO Discusses Q4 2010 Earnings Call Transcript - Seeking Alpha

Comments

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  • "In your head, in your head,

    Zombie, zombie, zombie,

    Hey, hey, hey. What's in your head,

    In your head,

    Zombie, zombie, zombie?"

    January 9, 2007

  • http://www.qwantz.com/index.pl?comic=915

    January 31, 2007

  • Also, a misspelled ghost word--a word on 0 lists. May or may not have comments. See also casper and conversation on features.

    November 22, 2007

  • Zombies are the top of the

    November 25, 2008

  • "Severed sets up a confrontation between eco-activists and loggers that turns both ghoulish and political. In deepest, darkest British Columbia, eco-warriors, loggers and company men are forced to band together for survival as the forest starts to crawl with zombies wearing lumberjack shirts. After the logging company infected trees with a hormone called GX1134, which promoted growth and increased profits, they discover there's an unfortunate side effect when the genetically mutated tree sap comes into contact with humans, and turns them into zombies."

    - movie review, 'Severed', ebroadcast.com.au, 1 Dec 2008.

    December 1, 2008

  • Be prepared.

    June 8, 2009

  • Ha! I notice no one has had to use it yet--(maybe I can change that fact...)

    July 28, 2009