\ˈgül \

Definition of ghoul 

1 : a legendary evil being that robs graves and feeds on corpses

2 : one suggestive of a ghoul especially : one who shows morbid interest in things considered shocking or repulsive

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Other Words from ghoul

ghoulish \ˈgü-lish \ adjective
ghoulishly adverb
ghoulishness noun

Synonyms for ghoul


demon (or daemon), devil, fiend, ghost, imp

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Examples of ghoul in a Sentence

in Arabic folklore, ghouls could change their shapes but had one unchanging feature: donkey's hooves for feet

Recent Examples on the Web

The backlash was prompt, because while Trump may be running the White House, there's still apparently an expectation that the people working for him not act like full-on ghouls. Luke Darby, GQ, "Sarah Huckabee Sanders Is Furious the White House's Inside Joke About John McCain Dying Was Leaked," 12 May 2018 Think of how Freddy Krueger went from an elemental, primal terror literally out of your nightmares to a wisecracking ghoul over the course of the Nightmare on Elm Street films. Todd Vanderwerff, Vox, "5 things to know about Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom," 5 June 2018 The new ghoul built for Fallen Kingdom is a lean and toothy dragon of a thing, sans fire but engineered with hyper intelligence and pure killer instinct. Richard Lawson, HWD, "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom," 5 June 2018 The former, meanwhile, boils down to shooting a seemingly unending supply of robots, ghouls, and mutated wildlife. Andrew Webster, The Verge, "Bethesda teases Fallout 76 ahead of E3," 30 May 2018 And Kaschei, amusingly and frighteningly grotesque, is an aged ghoul. Alastair Macaulay, New York Times, "In ‘Firebird,’ the Choreographer’s Art Is in Storytelling," 15 May 2018 Scout Island in City Park will be taken over by zombies and ghouls for a few select days, from Oct. 6 through Nov. 3. Maria Clark,, "City Park and The Mortuary will team up to open Scout Island Scream Park in October," 15 May 2018 The ghostly librarian who turns into a terrifying ghoul in an early scene was created using an animatronic robot, which was rigged to fly forward at the actors and have its clothes tear off. Lara Sorokanich, Popular Mechanics, "How Your World Works Podcast: The Special Effects Behind 'Ghostbusters'," 27 Oct. 2015 From art and documentaries in the desert to tall-ship schooners at sea to salsa dancing outdoors to the ghouls of Halloween, the weekend will be busy. April Orcutt,, "What's up: Close-to-home events for April 6-8," 1 Apr. 2018

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

1786, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for ghoul

Arabic ghūl

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Dictionary Entries near ghoul

ghost town

ghost word






Statistics for ghoul

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Time Traveler for ghoul

The first known use of ghoul was in 1786

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English Language Learners Definition of ghoul

: an evil creature in frightening stories that robs graves and eats dead bodies


\ˈgül \

Kids Definition of ghoul

1 : an evil being of legend that robs graves and feeds on dead bodies

2 : someone whose activities suggest those of a ghoul : an evil or frightening person

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Comments on ghoul

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


a state of commotion or excitement

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