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 Everywhere there are little reminders of Finn’s grandfather, all of them traceable to the objects in that ghostly office. John Lithgow, New York Times, "Grandmas and Grandpas Are a Kid’s Natural Allies in These Books," 22 June 2018 As with that magnum opus, the community in this newer work lives with the legacy of AIDS, albeit in more ghostly form. Chris Jones,, "Broadway top-10 for this fall: ‘Jagged Little Pill,’ Tina Turner and the risky ‘Slave Play’," 13 Sep. 2019 From ghostly celestial glows to neighboring worlds, an amazing cosmic treasure trove awaits. Andrew Fazekas, National Geographic, "See Neptune at its best and more top stargazing in September," 1 Sep. 2019 Once gold pickings became slim, miners were forced to dig deeper and deeper and open new mining shafts, resurrecting the ghostly tales of the mountain’s supernatural force. Advertorial, Orange County Register, "History & Heritage: Tipping Our Hat to the Wildest Ride in the Wilderness," 15 Sep. 2019 Watch live pumpkin carving and view the ghostly trains in the Model Railroad Garden: Landmarks of America. Annie Alleman,, "Find thrills and chills at north suburban fall, Halloween activities," 11 Sep. 2019 Scattered amid the remains of stone-tool manufacture, animal butchering, and fires, the prints preserve a ghostly snapshot of Neanderthals going about their lives. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "80,000-year-old footprints reveal Neanderthal social life," 10 Sep. 2019 These ghostly brownies make for a fabulous addition to any Halloween dessert table. Tara Bench, Country Living, "Marshmallow Ghost Brownies," 6 Sep. 2019 What’s thrown in for free is its quirky tales of ghostly presences and sinister drama. Dennis L Taylor, The Mercury News, "‘Haunted’ Monterey adobe hits market for $3.35 million," 5 Sep. 2019

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

6 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for ghostly

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

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More Definitions for ghostly


How to pronounce ghostly (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for ghostly

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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).


to spread as a report or rumor

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