Definition of ghastly
1a : terrifyingly horrible to the senses : frightening a ghastly crimeb : intensely unpleasant, disagreeable, or objectionable such a life seems ghastly in its emptiness and sterility — Aldous Huxley
2 : resembling a ghost
3 obsolete : filled with fear
4 : very great a ghastly mistake
Examples of ghastly in a Sentence
You're making a ghastly mistake.
His room was a ghastly mess.
Recent Examples of ghastly from the Web
The judge, calling them beasts, sentenced Leung and his ghastly confederates to stiff prison terms.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ghastly'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of ghastly
Middle English gastly, from gasten to terrify — more at gast
First Known Use: 14th century
Synonym Discussion of ghastly
GHASTLY Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of ghastly for English Language Learners
: very shocking or horrible
: very bad
GHASTLY Defined for Kids
Seen and Heard
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