\ 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

It was later identified as a fanfin seadevil, a ghoul of the deep with a bushy lure. William J. Broad, New York Times, "The Creepy Anglerfish Comes to Light. (Just Don’t Get Too Close.)," 29 July 2019 Cranky, fast-talking Madea finds herself under attack from ghosts, ghouls and zombies after breaking up a fraternity’s Halloween party. Los Angeles Times, "Here are the feature and TV films airing the week of Sunday, Aug. 11, 2019," 11 Aug. 2019 Cave made a project of collecting inflatable holiday lawn figures — Uncle Sam, Rudolph, spiders and ghouls, bunnies and Easter eggs — and went about their gleeful dissection. Globe Staff,, "Inflatable cartoon monsters feel like ‘a form of protest’ at South End’s Cyclorama," 8 Aug. 2019 Armed with proton packs, four paranormal investigators battle mischievous ghouls in New York. Los Angeles Times, "Here are the feature and TV films airing the week of Sunday, Aug. 11, 2019," 11 Aug. 2019 Her work ranged from a driving instructor at a location overrun by ghouls to a leader of a secret society looking to lure men into their circle. Rick Bentley,, "'Superstore’ actress on the ‘roller coaster ride’ of ‘Scare Tactics’," 8 July 2019 In The Dead Don’t Die, Jarmusch’s Paterson star Adam Driver and his Broken Flowers star Bill Murray play small-town cops who are more irritated than terrified when their friends and neighbors start transforming into mindless, murdering ghouls. Noel Murray, The Verge, "The Dead Don’t Die is a perfect excuse to return to Zombieland," 14 June 2019 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

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

13 Sep 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).


concealment of treason or felony

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