\ 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


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


ghostlike \ ˈgōst-​ˌlīk How to pronounce ghost (audio) \ adjective
ghosty \ ˈgō-​stē How to pronounce ghost (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 Once the name appears on the exterior or the menu, as with Cowboy Jack's, then a ghost kitchen becomes a dual concept. John Ewoldt, Star Tribune, "Famous Dave's, Granite City saw turnaround in March after downturns caused by COVID-19," 5 Apr. 2021 Leveillee inherited a ghost kitchen and immediately began reassembling his old team like Lieutenant Daniels in the second season of The Wire. Adam Erace, Fortune, "How to move and reassemble a team during a pandemic," 3 Apr. 2021 For some restaurants, that might mean installing a ghost kitchen, adding subscription services, or maintaining retail markets into the future. Caroline Hatchett, Robb Report, "How Inventive Tasting Menus Are Helping This Philadelphia Restaurant Survive the Pandemic," 22 Mar. 2021 Instead of starting with its own brick-and-mortar spot, Meat & Co. will open with a ghost kitchen for takeout as soon as early spring, operating out of the Box event space at 311 E. Wisconsin Ave. Carol Deptolla, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Meat & Co., a new downtown sandwich shop and food truck, debuts with a pop-up," 15 Mar. 2021 With its own logo and website and delivery service, Washington Squares is essentially a ghost kitchen. New York Times, "Building Pizzas That Can Survive the Box," 8 Mar. 2021 White Castle’s ghost kitchen near downtown Orlando has temporarily closed for orders and will re-open Thursday, but only for pickup. Austin Fuller,, "White Castle’s Orlando ghost kitchen will re-open Thursday only for pickup," 24 Feb. 2021 Hew might be a ghost kitchen, but its Thai bona fides are real. Mike Sutter, San Antonio Express-News, "3 great new San Antonio Thai restaurants: Hello Paradise, Kin Thai & Sushi and Hew by Akhanay Coffee Roasters," 11 Feb. 2021 Hot Chicks started as a ghost kitchen, but Sameni says the restaurant can stand on its own. Sarah Blaskovich, Dallas News, "Former Twisted Root Burger near SMU will become a Nashville hot chicken restaurant," 26 Jan. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb That incident led to a state law requiring delivery apps to have agreements with restaurants before serving their food alongside national coverage about delivery apps and ghost kitchens, delivery-only restaurants that exist only online. Janelle Bitker, San Francisco Chronicle, "DoorDash and Grubhub removed imposter S.F. sushi listings. But diners remain skeptical of delivery apps," 7 Apr. 2021 To be sure, the recovery has a long way to go, with businesses operating under COVID-19 capacity restrictions and downtowns still ghost towns because of the persistence of remote work., "From restaurants to salons, business is coming back to life as the vaccinated venture out," 3 Apr. 2021 In theory, the articles will tell you, ghost kitchens are a way for restaurateurs to experiment with new concepts. Andrew Stuttaford, National Review, "The Return of GameStop," 9 Mar. 2021 Other apps don’t have any labeling that distinguishes ghost kitchens from local restaurants. Jamie Goldberg, oregonlive, "Red Robin’s ‘ghost kitchen,’ masquerading as separate restaurants, highlights fears over dine-in’s future," 7 Mar. 2021 The restaurants are delivery-only—or ghost kitchens, as they are called in the industry. Charles Passy, WSJ, "New York City Chefs Go the Delivery Route," 20 Feb. 2021 Other chefs are committed to ghost kitchens for the long haul, such as Gavin Lambert, once a chef at Woods Hill Table in Concord, and his wife, Rachel Amiralian-Lambert. Kara Baskin,, "Aberration or apparition? Ghost kitchens could replace your favorite haunt," 26 Jan. 2021 This best-selling gift has 10 different bits of beef in all different flavors from classic to ghost pepper to whiskey maple. Amanda Tarlton, USA TODAY, "40 amazing Valentine's Day gifts men actually want," 20 Jan. 2021 Flavors range from Reposado (which means rested) to ghost pepper. Nicole Hvidsten, Star Tribune, "Essential Minnesota gift guide: 61 perfect picks while we're all home for the holidays," 27 Nov. 2020

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


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


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

11 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Ghost.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for ghost



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


\ 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


\ 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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Comments on ghost

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