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
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 Much of Gaza resembled a ghost-town, with almost no vehicles on the roads except for ambulances evacuating wounded. NBC News, "Islamic Jihad says cease-fire reached to end Gaza fighting, but no Israel confirmation," 14 Nov. 2019 Much of Gaza resembled a ghost-town, with almost no vehicles on the roads except for ambulances evacuating wounded. Washington Post, "Islamic Jihad says cease-fire reached to end Gaza fighting," 14 Nov. 2019 Much of Gaza resembled a ghost-town, with almost no vehicles on the roads except for ambulances evacuating the wounded. BostonGlobe.com, "Most read on BostonGlobe.com," 14 Nov. 2019 Will Turner joins forces with the infamous Jack Sparrow to rescue Elizabeth Swann from the brig of a ghost ship belonging to the villainous Captain Hector Barbossa. Alex Kane, USA TODAY, "How to watch Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl," 12 Nov. 2019 In August, Democratic Sen. Thomas Cullerton of Villa Park was indicted in an alleged union ghost payrolling scheme. Dan Petrella, chicagotribune.com, "Calls for reform in Springfield amid scandal are nothing new: ‘It’s deja vu all over again’," 11 Nov. 2019 Fallon out to Olive Garden, spiced it up on Hot Ones, and went on a ghost adventure. Melissa Fossum, azcentral, "Post Malone brought the party to Glendale, rocking the fans like the Andrew W.K. of rap," 9 Nov. 2019 The Overlook Hotel is still plenty creepy, as is the crusty naked ghost lady in Room 217. Brian Truitt, Detroit Free Press, "Sinister ‘Doctor Sleep’ is a solid ‘Shining’ follow-up," 7 Nov. 2019 But failure invariably comes with large debt bills that African countries cannot afford, and may leave large, unfinished ghost cities in its wake. Astrid R.n. Haas, Quartz Africa, "African countries keep building new cities to meet rapid urbanization even if people won’t live in them," 1 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb This involves more than just ghosting Trump on social media platforms, of course. Chandran Nair, Quartz, "It’s time the world ghosts Trump and gets down to real work," 21 Sep. 2019 The premise is that someone got ghosted by a friend, who vanished from the person’s life without a trace. Marc Silver, Washington Post, "‘Ghosted’ is nearly dead on arrival, but the MTV series earns a second chance," 8 Sep. 2019 Shawn Mendes was on the list, but brutally ghosted after just one message. Kelsey Stiegman, Seventeen, "Shawn Mendes Ghosted James Charles on Instagram DM and It's SO Awkward," 29 July 2019 The whole country, in fact, was getting ghosted by the governor. Emily Witt, The New Yorker, "Puerto Rico’s Loud and Fervent Days of Protest," 26 July 2019 Some who did respond quickly ghosted, even with the guarantee of anonymity. Jason Parham, WIRED, "When Influencers Switch Platforms—and Bare It All," 19 Aug. 2019 Lee began tinkering with a program to measure romantic interest after watching a clueless friend get ghosted after a date. Wired, "Flirty or Friendzone? New AI Scans Your Texts for True Love," 16 Sep. 2019 After 47 years of friendship, my friend ghosted me. Abigail Van Buren, oregonlive, "Dear Abby: Flashbacks from earlier sexual assault haunt nursing assistant in her new job," 5 Sep. 2019 After 47 years of friendship, my friend ghosted me. Abigail Van Buren, Twin Cities, "Dear Abby: New job triggers memories of violent sexual assault," 5 Sep. 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
How to pronounce ghost (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for ghost

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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