ghost·​ly | \ ˈgōst-lē How to pronounce ghostly (audio) \
ghostlier; ghostliest

Definition of ghostly

1 : of or relating to the soul : spiritual
2 : of, relating to, or having the characteristics of a ghost : spectral

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Other Words from ghostly

ghostliness noun
ghostly adverb

Examples of ghostly in a Sentence

A ghostly figure appears in the house at night.

Recent Examples on the Web

The governess starts to suspect the kids are being visited by ghostly apparitions. Marisa Lascala, Good Housekeeping, "'The Haunting of Hill House' Season 2, 'The Haunting of Bly Manor': Everything We Know About the New Season," 23 Aug. 2019 Up to that point, the boy has simply been terrified by the ghostly apparitions that appear around him bearing their gruesome, fatal wounds. Christian Holub,, "M. Night Shyamalan reflects on a classic Sixth Sense scene, 20 years later," 6 Aug. 2019 To Antietam, for a walk down Bloody Lane, ghostly site of the deadliest one-day battle in the history of the United States, with several times as many Americans killed there as in the D-Day invasion. Alexandra Desanctis, National Review, "On Visiting Civil War Battlefields," 22 Aug. 2019 To get that ghostly look, take white face paint and a foundation brush, and put it all over your face. Blake Bakkila, Good Housekeeping, "This Skeleton Face Paint Tutorial Is Actually Easier Than You Think," 18 June 2019 The amusement park on the city’s eastern edge is perhaps the most high-profile, lingering and ghostly reminder of Hurricane Katrina’s devastation. Washington Post, "Amusement park reminder of hurricane may soon come down," 5 July 2019 By now, more than half a billion people were watching as the ghostly images beamed to Earth from a camera mounted on the lunar module. Norah O'donnell, CBS News, ""Man on the Moon:" The 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing," 16 July 2019 Those ghostly images of the late Neil Armstrong hopping around on the moon with Buzz Aldrin are burned in my memory forever. Mike Lynch, Twin Cities, "Sky Watch: 50 years ago, we landed on the moon — and I landed at summer camp," 14 July 2019 Occasionally, these ghostly particles interacted with atoms inside the water tank, generating detectable flashes of radiation. Quanta Magazine, "Neutrinos Hint of Matter-Antimatter Rift," 28 July 2016

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

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

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Statistics for ghostly

Last Updated

11 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for ghostly

The first known use of ghostly was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for ghostly



English Language Learners Definition of ghostly

: of or relating to a ghost : suggesting a ghost


ghost·​ly | \ ˈgōst-lē How to pronounce ghostly (audio) \
ghostlier; ghostliest

Kids Definition of ghostly

: of, relating to, or like a ghost … there were ghostly eyes intently fixed upon him …— Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

More from Merriam-Webster on ghostly

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with ghostly

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for ghostly

Spanish Central: Translation of ghostly

Comments on ghostly

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


formidable, illustrious, or eminent

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