\ ˈgül How to pronounce ghoul (audio) \

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 How to pronounce ghoulish (audio) \ adjective
ghoulishly adverb
ghoulishness noun

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

Certainly the most developed new ghoul in Annabelle Comes Home, the Ferryman is the being who transports souls to the underworld. Daniel Menegaz,, "All the evil spirits of the Conjuring universe, ranked," 29 June 2019 Epic Games Fortnite’s Halloween festival, adorably named Fortnitemare, kicked off earlier today, and the most notable addition was a horde of monstrous-looking ghouls that resembled zombies. Julia Alexander, The Verge, "Epic would really like you to stop calling the new Fortnite monsters ‘zombies’," 24 Oct. 2018 The candlesticks had sterling silver ghouls at their bases. Lucinda Rosenfeld, Harper's magazine, "First Daughters," 10 Feb. 2019 The most recent trailer for spooky doll horror sequel Annabelle Comes Home (out June 26) introduced a new supernatural ghoul named The Ferryman, a hooded figure with coins over his eyes. Clark Collis,, "Annabelle Comes Home director talks spin-off potential of film's new ghosts," 4 June 2019 Its residents are fondly looking back on becoming ghouls to star in Night of the Living Dead, a horror classic celebrating its 50th birthday this year. Aubrey Nagle,, "City set to clear Kensington camps, Year of the Woman gets test in primaries | Morning Newsletter," 2 May 2018 Marsha Taub-Edmunds and Ed Edmunds, owners of Distortions Unlimited in Colorado, make the scariest mummies, ghouls, and zombies that their minds can dream up. A.c. Shilton, Popular Mechanics, "This DIY Halloween Monster Is a Perfect Project That's Good To Make With Kids Too," 22 Oct. 2018 But, because of all the fun and treats on Halloween, parents and guardians must take extra precaution to avoid danger for their little ghouls. Taylor Mead, House Beautiful, "This One Simple Step Could Save Your Kids From Accidental Poisoning This Halloween," 31 Oct. 2018 After all, who wants to be a ghoul when they can be decked out in glamorous couture? Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "This Supermodel’s Couture Halloween Costume Must Be Seen to Be Believed," 30 Oct. 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

Last Updated

19 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for ghoul

The first known use of ghoul was in 1786

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More Definitions for ghoul



English Language Learners Definition of ghoul

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


\ ˈgül How to pronounce ghoul (audio) \

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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More from Merriam-Webster on ghoul

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with ghoul

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for ghoul

Spanish Central: Translation of ghoul

Nglish: Translation of ghoul for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ghoul for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about ghoul

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).


something desired as essential

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