adjective \ˈgast-lē\

: very shocking or horrible

: very bad


Full Definition of GHASTLY

a :  terrifyingly horrible to the senses :  frightening <a ghastly crime>
b :  intensely unpleasant, disagreeable, or objectionable <such a life seems ghastly in its emptiness and sterility — Aldous Huxley>
:  resembling a ghost
obsolete :  filled with fear
:  very great <a ghastly mistake>
ghast·li·ness noun
ghastly adverb

Examples of GHASTLY

  1. You're making a ghastly mistake.
  2. His room was a ghastly mess.

Origin of GHASTLY

Middle English gastly, from gasten to terrify — more at gast
First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of GHASTLY

ghastly, grisly, gruesome, macabre, lurid mean horrifying and repellent in appearance or aspect. ghastly suggests the terrifying aspects of corpses and ghosts <a ghastly accident>. grisly and gruesome suggest additionally the results of extreme violence or cruelty <an unusually grisly murder> <suffered a gruesome death>. macabre implies a morbid preoccupation with the physical aspects of death <a macabre tale of premature burial>. lurid adds to gruesome the suggestion of shuddering fascination with violent death and especially with murder <the lurid details of a crime>.

Rhymes with GHASTLY


Next Word in the Dictionary: ghat
Previous Word in the Dictionary: ghastlily
All Words Near: ghastly

Seen & Heard

What made you want to look up ghastly? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).