haunt

verb
\ ˈhȯnt How to pronounce haunt (audio) , ˈhänt\
haunted; haunting; haunts

Definition of haunt

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to visit often : frequent spends a lot of time haunting bookstores
b : to continually seek the company of haunting celebrities impostors that haunt the official in foreign ports— Van Wyck Brooks
2a : to have a disquieting or harmful effect on : trouble problems we ignore now will come back to haunt us
b : to recur constantly and spontaneously to the tune haunted her
c : to reappear continually in a sense of tension that haunts his writing
3 : to visit or inhabit as a ghost believed that the house was haunted Spirits are supposed to haunt the places where their bodies most resorted …— Charles Dickens

intransitive verb

1 : to stay around or persist : linger a haunting fragrance
2 : to appear habitually as a ghost not far from … where she haunted appeared for a short time a much more remarkable spirit— W. B. Yeats

haunt

noun
\ ˈhȯnt How to pronounce haunt (audio) , ˈhänt, sense 2 is usually ˈhant\

Definition of haunt (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a place habitually frequented a favorite haunt of college kids
2 chiefly dialectal : ghost

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from haunt

Verb

haunter noun
hauntingly \ ˈhȯn-​tiŋ-​lē How to pronounce hauntingly (audio) , ˈhän-​ \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for haunt

Synonyms: Verb

affect, frequent, habituate, hang (at), resort (to), visit

Synonyms: Noun

hangout, purlieu, rendezvous, resort, stamping ground, stomping ground

Antonyms: Verb

avoid, shun

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of haunt in a Sentence

Verb

Some people believe that the ghost of an old sea captain haunts the beach. If you ignore the problem, it will come back to haunt you. Their failure to plan ahead is now coming back to haunt them. The tune haunted me all day.

Noun

The restaurant became one of her favorite haunts. one of their favorite after-school haunts is Joe's Pizza
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

On July 21, 1970, in the 259th game the San Diego Padres ever played, the club made a move that still haunts their fans 49 years later. Jared Diamond, WSJ, "The Last Team in Baseball Without a No-Hitter Closes In on a Record," 10 May 2019 The story of Gypsy Rose has previously been told in an HBO documentary and a Lifetime movie, after initially being brought to life by a BuzzFeed longread, but here's the haunting truth about the The Act, which hits Hulu on March 20. Alexis Jones, Marie Claire, "How True Is 'The Act'? The Hulu Series' Backstory Is Chilling," 20 Mar. 2019 But comedian Tommy Chong and NFL star Antonio Brown, AKA the Pineapple and Hippo, are far from the first famous faces to grace us with their haunting masks and questionable singing voices. Megan Stein, Country Living, "We'd Like to Remind You That Ryan Reynolds Was Once a Unicorn on 'Masked Singer'," 10 Jan. 2019 Edgar Ramirez, who played Gianni in the series, Penelope Cruz, who played Gianni's sister Donatella, and Darren Criss, who gave a haunting performance as Andrew Cunanan, were all nominated for individual acting awards as well. Maggie Maloney, Town & Country, "The Cast of American Crime Story Makes a Glamorous Appearance at the Golden Globes," 7 Jan. 2019 When the sun disappears and the fog rolls in, a haunting feeling comes with it. Mary Holland, Condé Nast Traveler, "Why Your Next Safari Should Be in Namibia," 6 Nov. 2018 The pair’s joint composition provides the haunting track of Le Renard Bleu, directed by Partel Oliva. Sarah Nechamkin, The Cut, "Watch Kenzo’s Dreamy Reimagining of an Ancient Japanese Folktale," 13 July 2018 But all these years later, that’s changed, as seen by the haunting effect this entire town has on her. Morgan Baila, refinery29.com, "Sharp Objects Premiere Recap: Home Is Where The Murder Is," 9 July 2018 Concert Atop the Crypts: Divine Hand Ensemble The Divine Hand Ensemble takes advantage of the haunting backdrop of the historical Laurel Hill Cemetery to perform music on the iconically sci-fi instrument, the theremin. Philly.com, "Carrie Underwood, Celebration of Black Arts and other great events in Philadelphia, June 29-July 6," 28 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

That alone, for me, made the auditorium a more compelling destination than the T-shirt shops and hippie haunts of Haight-Ashbury. Christopher Reynolds, latimes.com, "Grab an apple and enter the Fillmore, San Francisco’s cradle of psychedelia that continues to rock," 3 May 2018 Outdoor notes Deep sea opener: The season for rockfish and lingcod opens April 15 for the Farallones Islands, the Deep Reef, Cordell Bank and other rocky haunts off the Bay Area coast. Tom Stienstra, San Francisco Chronicle, "Youngster tops vacation with bass, not cell phone," 8 Apr. 2018 Later, Musso & Frank became a favorite haunt of novelists like Faulkner and Fitzgerald. Rico Gagliano, WSJ, "This Iconic Hollywood Restaurant Lets You Travel Back in Time," 13 Feb. 2019 Photo by Koukichi Takahashi / EyeEm / Getty Images Old Victorian homes have been associated with Halloween’s haunts and horrors since the mid-to-late 19th century. Margaret Lin, Curbed, "This meme page curates the best of the internet’s ‘spooky toilets’," 5 Oct. 2018 Kep, a 30-minute journey past Kampot, was a trendy haunt during the French colonial days, then was all but destroyed during the brutal Khmer Rouge regime of the 1970s. Sanjay Surana, WSJ, "Cambodia: The Chicest New Beach Destination in Asia," 15 Jan. 2019 Until recently, travelers were limited to basic hotels and divey backpacker haunts, but all that is changing quickly too. Sarah Khan, Condé Nast Traveler, "Visiting Hampi, an Historic Region of Southern India That's Free of Tourists...For Now," 1 Aug. 2018 Thinking of switching Wicker Park or Bucktown from weekend haunt to full-time home? Elaine Coorens, chicagotribune.com, "Big Star isn’t the only reason to sign a lease in Wicker Park," 11 May 2017 For instance, in Tokyo’s robot restaurant, a top tourist haunt, diners can eat alongside dancing machines — which of course isn’t representative of daily Japanese life. Alex Ward, Vox, "What I learned go-karting around Tokyo dressed as Spider-Man," 12 Dec. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'haunt.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of haunt

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for haunt

Verb and Noun

Middle English, from Anglo-French hanter, probably from Old Norse heimta to lead home, pull, claim, from heimr home

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about haunt

Dictionary Entries near haunt

haunched

haunchless

haunchy

haunt

haunty

haupia

Hauptman

Statistics for haunt

Last Updated

17 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for haunt

The first known use of haunt was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for haunt

haunt

verb

English Language Learners Definition of haunt

 (Entry 1 of 2)

of a ghost : to visit or live in (a place)
: to eventually cause problems for (someone) as time passes
: to keep coming back to the mind of (someone) especially in a way that makes the person sad or upset

haunt

noun

English Language Learners Definition of haunt (Entry 2 of 2)

: a place that you go to often

haunt

verb
\ ˈhȯnt How to pronounce haunt (audio) \
haunted; haunting

Kids Definition of haunt

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to visit or live in as a ghost Spirits haunt the house.
2 : to visit often … I began haunting the docks when the ferry … came in.— Katherine Paterson, Jacob Have I Loved
3 : to come to mind frequently The song haunts me.

haunt

noun

Kids Definition of haunt (Entry 2 of 2)

: a place often visited The café is her favorite haunt.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on haunt

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with haunt

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for haunt

Spanish Central: Translation of haunt

Nglish: Translation of haunt for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of haunt for Arabic Speakers

Comments on haunt

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

WORD OF THE DAY

to speak slightingly about or to degrade

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Vocabulary Quiz Returns!

  • stylized drawing of woman pole vaulting across gap to get trophy
  • Which is a synonym of fuliginous?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!