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
3 : spirit, demon
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 abruptly cut off all contact with (someone, such as a former romantic partner) by no longer accepting or responding to phone calls, instant messages, etc. 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

Sleeping with strangers—with ghosts on the screen—was a new element in Romanticism as well as romance. John Banville, WSJ, "‘Sleeping With Strangers’ Review: Flickers of Desire," 22 Feb. 2019 The list goes on and on and on, with some folks just walking through scenes briefly like ghosts from the past. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "Vice doesn’t want to humanize Dick Cheney. So instead, it (maybe) demonizes America.," 21 Dec. 2018 Yeah, ghost or virtual kitchen, and what that means is your food can also be made ... Eric Johnson, Recode, "Why Sweetgreen thinks like a tech company," 17 Dec. 2018 Marian starts talking about ghosts and the afterlife, and Camille becomes furious. Emily Yahr, chicagotribune.com, "'Sharp Objects' premiere features one major difference from Gillian Flynn's novel," 9 July 2018 The trains no longer thunder past, but the bridges are no longer ghosts. Peter Marteka, courant.com, "Hop River Trail's Railroad Bridge Will Soon Get New Life With Hiking Traffic," 27 May 2018 The ghosts of the home’s past reappear in the flicker of a butter lamp beside the family’s Buddhist altar, the glow revealing a black-and-white photograph of the Happy House in snow. Sophy Roberts, Condé Nast Traveler, "On Your Next Trip to Nepal, Rent the House Sir Edmund Hillary Loved," 20 Dec. 2018 The stage action has acquired a few extra characters who are mostly mute — part-ghost, part-clown. Peter Dobrin, Philly.com, "Menotti and Weill make an odd double-bill at Curtis Opera Theatre," 4 May 2018 Winchester takes to a new level the idea that the house’s odd layout and constant modification is meant to keep ghosts in check. Colin Dickey, New Republic, "What Winchester Gets Wrong About an American Landmark," 7 Feb. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Who among us hasn’t ghosted from a rhythmic volley of text messages with no explanation? Michael Andor Brodeur, BostonGlobe.com, "5 (pretty easy) steps to improve civility online," 6 July 2018 Who among us hasn't consoled a friend who was ghosted by saying that her crush is potentially a serial killer? Danielle Mcnally, Marie Claire, "We Showed 'You've Got Mail' to Our Gen-Z Coworkers and Now Feel Very Old," 1 Aug. 2018 In the show's season three finale, the character that Sampson plays, Nathan, returns to town after having ghosted Issa (Issa Rae) earlier in the season. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "‘Insecure’ Star Kendrick Sampson Talks About Ghosting and Going to Therapy," 2 Oct. 2018 When someone ghosts you, they are gone — but ghosting might be more accurately used for a situation in which someone is no longer physically present, but their presence is still felt. Brittney Mcnamara, Teen Vogue, ""Orbiting" Is the New Breakup Habit That's Worse Than Ghosting," 11 Dec. 2018 At the time, my job search was at an impasse, my writing projects were in limbo, and another man had just ghosted me. Matt Ortile, SELF, "Whenever My Life Feels Out of Control, I Go to Ballet Class," 16 Aug. 2018 Despite being the sign of relationships (since they are represented by the scales), Libras can be a bit selfish in their dating and are prone to ghosting. Sophie Saint Thomas, Allure, "What Your Zodiac Sign Says About Your Online Dating Style," 6 July 2018 Thankfully, ghosting only lasted about three to five seconds after the panel refreshed. Valentina Palladino, Ars Technica, "Lenovo Yoga Book 2018 review: The keyless keyboard returns, now in E Ink," 2 Nov. 2018 Dry eye essentially means the tear film that keeps your eyes wet isn’t plentiful enough, isn’t the right composition, or ghosts your eyeballs by evaporating too quickly, the National Eye Institute explains. Korin Miller, SELF, "Is It Terrible to Wear the Same Contact Lenses for a Long, Long Time?," 19 Oct. 2018

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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More Definitions for ghost

ghost

noun

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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with ghost

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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

Comments on ghost

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