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 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

Unless the violence can be checked, Ituri’s residents will fear that the ghosts of their recent past are being reawakened. The Economist, "Killings in Congo’s north-east spark fears of a return to war," 13 July 2019 The LCC Music Department is in on the act, as well, contributing the use of their new grand piano and its resident ghost to play tunes from the musical outside the theater before the show and during intermission. San Diego Union-Tribune, "A Ghoulishly School Affair: Behind the scenes at La Costa Canyon High School’s production of The Addams Family," 11 Apr. 2019 Legend has it that her ghost still appears in the Hampton Court halls on the anniversary of her death each October. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, "You Can Now Spend the Night in Hampton Court, One of Henry VIII's Favorite Palaces," 14 Sep. 2018 In terms of star power, however, Pfeiffer hasn’t helmed a major box-office hit in nearly 20 years, since thriller What Lies Beneath saw her battling ghosts in 2000. Alex Abad-santos, Vox, "Kathleen Turner dragged a high-paid actress for having no range. Here’s who it might be.," 7 Aug. 2018 Arthur Ashe Boulevard will cut through an avenue of ghosts, not all of them friendly. Kurt Streeter, New York Times, "Richmond Is at a Crossroads. Will Arthur Ashe Boulevard Point the Way?," 21 June 2019 However, this would require Xi to finally shake off the ghosts of Tiananmen and the party’s dread of freedom of expression, assembly, press, conscience and movement. The Washington Post, Twin Cities, "Other voices: Hong Kong’s protests were an inspiring rebuke. Now comes the anxiety.," 20 June 2019 But that's enough about the ghosts of Trump Administration Mouthpieces Past; what's next for Sanders? Graeme Mcmillan, WIRED, "While You Were Offline: Justin Bieber Wants to Fight Tom Cruise," 16 June 2019 Then came Game 7, when Kawhi Leonard exorcised 20 years worth of playoff ghosts. Andrew Sharp, SI.com, "With Klay Thompson Sidelined, The Raptors Had All the Answers in Game 3 of NBA Finals," 6 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Kaka was half the player at the Bernabeu and ghosted through many games. SI.com, "6 Footballers Who Had Their Reputations Ruined by One Bad Career Move," 22 June 2019 However, don't be surprised if someone ghosts a meeting or disappears from sight. Tribune Content Agency, oregonlive.com, "Horoscope for June 21, 2019: Leo, summer sunshine sheds light on a mystery; Pisces, think long-term and permanent," 21 June 2019 Good thing, too, because Air Berlin ghosted it customers right in the middle of her trip. USA TODAY, "Summer 2019's biggest travel headaches: 737 Max groundings, disappearing discount carriers," 19 June 2019 My dad has been contacting me recently, apologizing for ghosting us and wanting to meet me and my family. Carolyn Hax, The Mercury News, "Carolyn Hax: Will I regret not hearing my father’s side of the story?," 11 June 2019 Nevertheless, their anxiety is causing some baffling workplace behaviors—such as ghosting the boss. Sue Shellenbarger, WSJ, "The Most Anxious Generation Goes to Work," 9 May 2019 But Jon Snow can never come back from ghosting Ghost. Emma Dibdin, Harper's BAZAAR, "Jon Snow Didn't Even Pet Ghost Goodbye in Game of Thrones Tonight," 6 May 2019 My dad has been contacting me recently, apologizing for ghosting us and wanting to meet me and my family. Carolyn Hax, The Mercury News, "Carolyn Hax: Will I regret not hearing my father’s side of the story?," 11 June 2019 My dad has been contacting me recently, apologizing for ghosting us and wanting to meet me and my family. Carolyn Hax, Washington Post, "Carolyn Hax: The dad who ran away from responsibility walks back into your life," 10 June 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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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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