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

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 With desert peaks stabbing the sky and a thin blue ribbon of Dead Sea shimmering in the distance, the ghostly figures of around 200 men and women -- painted head to toe in white -- began appearing from behind an outcrop. CNN, 17 Oct. 2021 Their physical bodies — and your own — get entangled with those pictorial references to bodily experience, bringing a ghostly, incorporeal picture home. Christopher Knightart Critic, Los Angeles Times, 21 Mar. 2022 The ghostly white creatures in the deep-sea mud can indicate the presence of vents nearby. New York Times, 11 Mar. 2022 The painting shows the teen-age martyr in a garden, a trio of ghostly saints hovering behind her. Sheelah Kolhatkar, The New Yorker, 21 Mar. 2022 Working as a bike messenger at the time, she was entranced by the ghostly warehouses along the waterfront. New York Times, 3 Mar. 2022 Anyone who drives the stretch from Miami to Key West is bound to be mystified by the ghostly remains of the old railway. Tony Perrottet, Smithsonian Magazine, 22 Feb. 2022 Robots with flashing blue lights cruise hallways and infrared scanners display the ghostly, glowing shapes of everyone walking past. Los Angeles Times, 19 Feb. 2022 As a ghostly Rosemary torments Patricia (Courteney Cox), a present-day writer, Sorvino seems to be enjoying every dry-martini minute of it. New York Times, 1 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of ghostly

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

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

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Dictionary Entries Near ghostly



ghost moth

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Last Updated

26 Apr 2022

Cite this Entry

“Ghostly.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for ghostly


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


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