aghast

play
adjective \ ə-ˈgast \

Definition of aghast

:struck with terror, amazement, or horror :shocked and upset
  • was aghast when she heard the news

aghast was our Word of the Day on 07/01/2013. Hear the podcast!

Examples of aghast in a Sentence

  1. The news left her aghast.

  2. Critics were aghast to see how awful the play was.

Recent Examples of aghast from the Web

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

Did You Know?

If you are aghast, you might look like you've just seen a ghost, or something similarly shocking. "Aghast" traces back to a Middle English verb, gasten, meaning "to frighten." "Gasten" (which also gave us ghastly, meaning "terrible or frightening) comes from "gast," a Middle English spelling of the word ghost. "Gast" also came to be used in English as a verb meaning "to scare." That verb is now obsolete, but its spirit lives on in words spoken by the character Edmund in Shakespeare's King Lear: "gasted by the noise I made, full suddenly he fled."

Origin and Etymology of aghast

Middle English agast, from past participle of agasten to frighten, from a- (perfective prefix) + gasten to frighten — more at abide, gast


AGHAST Defined for Kids

aghast

adjective \ ə-ˈgast \

Definition of aghast for Students

:struck with terror, surprise, or horror
  • The news left her aghast.


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