ghost town


Definition of ghost town 

: a once-flourishing town wholly or nearly deserted usually as a result of the exhaustion of some natural resource

Examples of ghost town in a Sentence

After all the gold was mined, the place became a ghost town.

Recent Examples on the Web

The ghost town was founded in 1865 where silver mining began and covers 314 acres in the Owens Valley with 22 remaining structures including a hotel, saloon and chapel. Kayla Fitzgerald, sacbee, "Own this entire ghost town south of Yosemite for under $1 million," 15 June 2018 Today, the neighborhood feels a bit like a ghost town. Lindsay Peyton, Houston Chronicle, "Storm was a double whammy for Meyerland fire captain," 12 June 2018 Entire California ghost town for sale for under $1 million. Fox News, "FOX NEWS FIRST: Authorities probe suspect's past encounters with paper in newsroom shooting; Possible new White House shakeup," 29 June 2018 Twenty-five years later, the Orathupalayam is one of over 60 villages that have been transformed into ghost towns. Adam Matthews, Newsweek, "The Environmental Crisis in Your Closet," 13 Aug. 2015 Many sidewalks and plazas in the region were ghost towns, and the hum of air-conditioners filled the heavy, ovenlike air. Tim Arango, New York Times, "Record Heat in Southern California, and an Ominous Start to Wildfire Season," 7 July 2018 Other researchers, using different definitions for ghost towns, find smaller numbers, but all agree that there is a serious problem. Dominique Fong, WSJ, "China’s Ghost Towns Haunt Its Economy," 15 June 2018 Leah Sottile explores this strange family through episodes dedicated to topics like the ghost town in Arizona where a couple hundred people—the majority of them with the last name Bundy—once lived. The Editors, Outside Online, "What We Read, Watched, and Listened to in May," 1 June 2018 Visiting Nevada’s Yucca Mountain in 2011 was like walking through a ghost town, Rep. John Shimkus, R-Ill. Jeremy Dillon, The Seattle Times, "Yucca Mountain crusader wins House vote on nuclear-waste site," 12 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ghost town.' 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 town

1931, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for ghost town

Last Updated

4 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for ghost town

The first known use of ghost town was in 1931

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More Definitions for ghost town

ghost town


English Language Learners Definition of ghost town

: a town that no longer has any people living in it : an abandoned town

ghost town


Kids Definition of ghost town

: a town where all the people have left

Comments on ghost town

What made you want to look up ghost town? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to reject or criticize sharply

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