haunt

verb
\ ˈhȯnt , 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 , 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

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Other Words from haunt

Verb

haunter noun
hauntingly \ ˈhȯn-​tiŋ-​lē , 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

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Hopefully the decision won't come back to haunt him. Jennifer Aldrich, Country Living, "'Blue Bloods' Hints at Fight That Could Tear Brothers Danny and Jamie Reagan Apart," 1 Feb. 2019 All of Joe's loose ends from season one will come back to haunt him. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "You Season 2: Here's Everything We Know So Far," 11 Jan. 2019 Along the way, the Frasers cross paths with notorious pirate and smuggler Stephen Bonnet in a fateful meeting that will come back to haunt the Fraser family. Julie Kosin, Harper's BAZAAR, "The New Outlander Season 4 Trailer Has Too Many Shocking Moments to Count," 10 Sep. 2018 This reality is especially haunting for Darcy because her father died here, in their home, two years ago. Carolyn Beeler, Teen Vogue, "Erosion From Rising Sea Levels Is Destroying the English Town of Happisburgh," 17 July 2018 Baker’s record in Prince George’s included battles with unions and activists that came back to haunt him. Washington Post, "Baker’s campaign hurt by weak funding, enemies he made as county executive," 27 June 2018 His controversial stop-and-frisk police policies alienated many black and Hispanic voters in New York, and the issue would surely come back to haunt him in a primary. Benjamin Hart, Daily Intelligencer, "Report: Michael Bloomberg Is, Once Again,Thinking of Running for President," 26 June 2018 But one-run advantages in Pinto Baseball are extremely hard to protect and that fact came back to haunt Deer Park. Robert Avery, Houston Chronicle, "Pinto Gold all-stars’ day begins with triple play, ends with elimination after 9-8 loss," 24 June 2018 Memories of that night, which had seemed so magical, came to haunt Dean. Mark Arsenault, BostonGlobe.com, "Secrets of a Lost Girl," 24 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 One of their favorite haunts is an area called Happy Hollow. Maria Carter, Country Living, "You Would Never Know The Photographer Behind These Gorgeous Images is Legally Blind," 15 Sep. 2015 The two-story home, on the market for $2.895 million, was the longtime haunt of film icon Mickey Rooney. Jack Flemming, latimes.com, "Longtime Westlake Village home of entertainer Mickey Rooney seeks $2.9 million," 22 May 2018 Inner Loop Mongoose Versus Cobra The chalkboard grid spanning one wall in this hip Midtown haunt lists the more than 40 beers on tap, including options from Europe and at least a dozen from Texas. Jody Schmal & Greg Morago, Houston Chronicle, "Where to tipple craft beer in Houston," 10 May 2018 The Fullerton Bay Hotel The vast lobby, with its high ceilings and dramatic arches, frames this haunt of the glamorous. Audrey Phoon, Condé Nast Traveler, "25 Best Hotels in Singapore," 28 Feb. 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.

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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

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Dictionary Entries near haunt

haunched

haunchless

haunchy

haunt

haunty

haupia

Hauptman

Statistics for haunt

Last Updated

8 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for haunt

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

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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 \
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.

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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

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