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

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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

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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

The show, which was shot in San Francisco as well as sets mostly around Los Angeles, finds Mary Ann returning to Barbary Lane, where the past haunts the present, and younger generations meld with older generations. Randy Myers, The Mercury News, "‘Tales of the City’ is back — in a much different San Francisco," 3 June 2019 Chernobyl is a haunting corrective, a reminder of what sky-high stakes feel like, how terrifying true tragedy can be. Taylor Antrim, Vogue, "HBO’s New Miniseries Chernobyl Will Give You Nightmares," 4 May 2019 Two actors, however, deliver magnificently haunting performances. Christine Dolen, miamiherald, "'Seven Guitars' a riveting revival of August Wilson's take on black life in the 20th century," 12 June 2018 The beseeching, big-eyed expression of these animals is haunting, and Moskowitz doesn’t spare us a vivid look into their struggle, as the caribou, muzzles dusted with snow, eke out their survival day to day. Lynda V. Mapes, The Seattle Times, "David Moskowitz captures the beauty — and fragility — of the Northwest’s mountain caribou," 11 Feb. 2019 This track from the rock bands A Moon Shaped Pool album is haunting in more ways than one. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "33 Epic Halloween Songs To Make Up For Your Last-Minute Costume," 29 Sep. 2018 Celebrity is a hallowed but haunting domain, and Beyoncé’s fans are not alone in their acute attachment to—and ardent defense of—an artist of outsize cultural importance. Hannah Giorgis, The Atlantic, "Do Beyoncé Fans Have to Forgive Jay-Z?," 18 June 2018 Smiling, sobbing, glamorous, haunted, impassive, enigmatic and -- in the end -- crushed. Marc Freeman, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Appeals court again denies Dalia Dippolito's bid to leave prison during appeal," 4 June 2018 But those ideas have rarely been explored to such a literal, haunting effect. Scott Meslow, GQ, "Batman: The Enemy Within," 30 Mar. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge lived in Wales for two years after getting married in 2011, and will return to some of their old haunts. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kate Middleton and Prince William Step Out in Wales," 8 May 2019 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

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

14 Jun 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 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.

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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

Comments on haunt

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