ghost

noun
\ ˈgōst How to pronounce ghost (audio) \

Definition of ghost

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the seat of life or intelligence : soul give up the ghost
2 : a disembodied soul especially : the soul of a dead person believed to be an inhabitant of the unseen world or to appear to the living in bodily likeness
4a : a faint shadowy trace a ghost of a smile
b : the least bit not a ghost of a chance
5 : a false image in a photographic negative or on a television screen caused especially by reflection
6 : one who ghostwrites
7 : a red blood cell that has lost its hemoglobin

ghost

verb
ghosted; ghosting; ghosts

Definition of ghost (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to haunt like a ghost
2 : ghostwrite ghosted the mayor's autobiography
3 informal : to cut off all contact with (someone) : to subject (someone, such as a former romantic partner) to ghosting — see ghosting sense 2 No one wants to be ghosted, mostly because it sucks to admit that the person you gushed about last week is now pretending you don't exist …— Ellen Scott

intransitive verb

1a : to move silently like a ghost
b : to sail quietly in light winds

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Other Words from ghost

Noun

ghostlike \ ˈgōst-​ˌlīk How to pronounce ghostlike (audio) \ adjective
ghosty \ ˈgō-​stē How to pronounce ghosty (audio) \ adjective

Examples of ghost in a Sentence

Noun a house haunted by ghosts looked for ghosts in the graveyard on Halloween Verb She ghosted the mayor's autobiography.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Players can also enable a ghost car and race against it to try to beat either the daily top 10 or all-time top 10 lap times. Austin Irwin, Car and Driver, "Race an Acura NSX and RDX for Free with Acura's New Retro Arcade Game," 7 Feb. 2020 The Morris-Jumel Mansion hosts ghost tours twice a month, for believers and non-believers alike. CBS News, "Hunting ghosts at New York City's Morris-Jumel Mansion," 31 Oct. 2019 Guests of the hotel on Thames Street gather each Wednesday through Saturday and take a ghost tour of the hotel curated by Lampredi, who has led the tours the past 14 years. John-john Williams Iv, baltimoresun.com, "The stories behind Baltimore’s most haunted bars, restaurants and hotels," 22 Oct. 2019 According to Rafaelian, those ghost tours may not have been entirely unfounded. Mackenzie Schmidt, PEOPLE.com, "Jennifer Lawrence's Rumored Wedding Venue Has a Shocking — Sometimes Spooky — History," 17 Oct. 2019 Head to a sorcerous mansion in upstate New York with ghosts that like to play tricks on their houseguests. Megan Uy, House Beautiful, "Eight Airbnb Hosts Across The World Are Offering Up Their Haunted Houses to The Public For Halloween," 8 Oct. 2019 Nighttime ghost tours are a popular way to explore the alleyways. Meghan Miner Murray, National Geographic, "9 of Europe’s underground marvels," 2 Aug. 2019 Those who are brave enough to go on a ghost tour, visit a voodoo shop or browse a vampire boutique will get their scary Southern Gothic fix in no time. David Oliver, USA TODAY, "First-timers' guide to New Orleans: 10 do's and don'ts to keep in mind," 10 July 2019 From springs to lakes, ghost tours to wrestling dinner shows and u-pick farms to a tank-driving experience, there are lots of offerings here. Patrick Connolly, orlandosentinel.com, "Central Florida Explorer: One year of adventures down, more exploring to come," 3 July 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Dear Amy: A few years ago, friends of many years ghosted me, for no apparent reason. Amy Dickinson, The Denver Post, "Ask Amy: Relationship ghosters become friendship zombies," 14 Dec. 2019 Dear Amy: A few years ago, friends of many years ghosted me, for no apparent reason. Amy Dickinson, Washington Post, "Ask Amy: Relationship ghosters become friendship zombies," 14 Dec. 2019 But, after acknowledging my initial detailed request, Google ghosted me. BostonGlobe.com, "A plea from a friend, via a hacked e-mail account, is a cautionary tale about scams - The Boston Globe," 9 Dec. 2019 Yes, ghosts are scary, but who cares about paranormal beings when there are real-life people ghosting you? Rasha Ali, USA TODAY, "Halloween 2019: Ghosting is an unnerving dating trend but there are ways to deal with monsters," 31 Oct. 2019 Overdrive and anti-ghosting automatically kicks in when FreeSync’s on. Brad Chacos, PCWorld, "Nixeus's new 4K, 144Hz FreeSync monitor is loaded with enthusiast-friendly features," 8 Jan. 2020 Getting ghosted in a relationship never feels good. Rasha Ali, USA TODAY, "Halloween 2019: Ghosting is an unnerving dating trend but there are ways to deal with monsters," 31 Oct. 2019 And that brings us to the other side of the equation: ghosting by candidates, which seems to be on the rise. Amy Lindgren, Twin Cities, "Working Strategies: Ghosting interviewers, candidates, and everyone else," 28 Sep. 2019 The teen made an exception to her 'Gram ghosting to pose for a picture with her mom and her grandma, Blythe Danner, in honor of Paltrow's 47th birthday on Friday. Kayleigh Roberts, Harper's BAZAAR, "Gwyneth Paltrow's 15-Year-Old Daughter, Apple, Looks Like Her Twin in Rare Instagram Appearance," 28 Sep. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ghost.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of ghost

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1606, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for ghost

Noun and Verb

Middle English gost, gast, from Old English gāst; akin to Old High German geist spirit, Sanskrit heḍa anger

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Time Traveler for ghost

Time Traveler

The first known use of ghost was before the 12th century

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Statistics for ghost

Last Updated

10 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Ghost.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Ghosts. Accessed 16 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for ghost

ghost

noun
How to pronounce ghost (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of ghost

: the soul of a dead person thought of as living in an unseen world or as appearing to living people
: a very small amount or trace

ghost

noun
\ ˈgōst How to pronounce ghost (audio) \

Kids Definition of ghost

: the spirit of a dead person thought of as living in an unseen world or as appearing to living people

ghost

noun
\ ˈgōst How to pronounce ghost (audio) \

Medical Definition of ghost

: a structure (as a cell or tissue) that does not stain normally because of degenerative changes specifically : a red blood cell that has lost its hemoglobin

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More from Merriam-Webster on ghost

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for ghost

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with ghost

Spanish Central: Translation of ghost

Nglish: Translation of ghost for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ghost for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about ghost

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