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 haunt (audio) , ˈhän-​ \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for haunt

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Verb

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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 Some of Jones’ actions while on council may come back to haunt him. cleveland, "The pros and cons for the top-tier 2021 Cleveland mayoral candidates: analysis," 5 May 2021 However waiting until Saturday to get corner help might come back to haunt them. Nate Davis, USA TODAY, "NFL draft grades: Bears, Jets among best team classes in 2021 while Raiders among worst," 2 May 2021 But win or lose, the Giants’ wild spending—their third such spending spree since 2014—could come back to haunt them depending on how the 2022 salary cap shakes out. Patricia Traina, Forbes, "New York Giants Facing Potential Salary Cap Trouble In 2022," 27 Apr. 2021 If the Heat get it wrong, then Kendrick well could come back to haunt them as an opponent for years to come. Ira Winderman, sun-sentinel.com, "ASK IRA: Is there an end in sight to Victor Oladipo’s lingering pain?," 21 Apr. 2021 The Deceuninck-QuickStep rider came into the race off the back of victory in the Classic Brugge-De Panne and had been keeping pace with the leading group before his nutritional intake came back to haunt him. Ben Church, CNN, "Cycling star Sam Bennett throws up during race; blames overeating on not wanting 'to run out of fuel'," 29 Mar. 2021 But in a state that Trump carried twice, his old Trump-bashing tweets may well come back to haunt him. Clarence Page, chicagotribune.com, "Column: J.D. Vance seeks to build bridges, maybe even among Republicans," 9 Apr. 2021 But the bill always came due, eventually, and all our mistakes and short-sightedness will come back to haunt us in time. Mary Juetten, Forbes, "The Perils And Pitfalls Of Short-Term Thinking," 8 Apr. 2021 Well, this comes back to haunt Adam via Hubie, as CinemaBlend.com points out. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Adam Sandler Packed 'Hubie Halloween' With 'Billy Madison' Easter Eggs You Didn't Notice," 19 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Problems that India had overcome last year are coming back to haunt health officials. Author: David Biller, Maria Cheng, Joshua Goodman, Anchorage Daily News, "Worldwide COVID-19 death toll tops a staggering 3 million," 18 Apr. 2021 Problems that India had overcome last year are coming back to haunt health officials. David Biller, chicagotribune.com, "Worldwide death toll from COVID-19 tops a staggering 3 million," 17 Apr. 2021 Problems that India had overcome last year are coming back to haunt health officials. BostonGlobe.com, "Worldwide COVID-19 death toll tops a staggering 3 million," 17 Apr. 2021 Problems that India had overcome last year are coming back to haunt health officials. David Biller, Star Tribune, "Worldwide COVID-19 death toll tops a staggering 3 million," 17 Apr. 2021 Problems that India had overcome last year are coming back to haunt health officials. Arkansas Online, "Worldwide covid-19 death toll tops a staggering 3 million," 17 Apr. 2021 Walton Goggins had no trouble cutting loose from his 94-year-old haunt just above Hollywood Boulevard. Jack Flemming, Los Angeles Times, "Walton Goggins gets $3.665 million for vintage Hollywood haunt," 22 Mar. 2021 The unassuming place — one that became a popular haunt for Dallas Cowboys players, millionaire executives and tons of regular folks, too — has been in business for 50 years. Sarah Blaskovich, Dallas News, "50 years later: How Celebration became one of the most-loved restaurants in Dallas," 1 Mar. 2021 Yet this spring, the acclaimed chef gets a chance at another act with Les Trois Chevaux, a new French brasserie just around the corner from her original haunt. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "The Spring Restaurant Openings to Know in New York City," 12 Apr. 2021

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

Middle English haunten, hanten "to frequent, frequent the company of, dwell in, engage in, practice (a vice or virtue), perform," borrowed from Anglo-French hanter (also continental Old French), of uncertain origin

Note: The origin of the French word has been much argued over in the past century and a half. Given the initial h aspiré (meaning the initial h was pronounced into early modern French and still blocks elision of preceding vowels), the word has usually been given a Germanic source. Perhaps most frequently it has been traced to the Old Norse verb reflected in Old Icelandic heimta "to draw, pull, call on, claim, crave, get back, recover," despite semantic and phonetic objections. Also proffered has been a presumed Old Low Franconian *haimiþōn "to shelter, accommodate." Both etyma are derivatives of Germanic *haima- "dwelling" (see home entry 1). The possibility of a spoken Latin source has been revived in Dictionnaire étymologique de l'ancien français (on line), which suggests *ambitāre, from Latin ambitus "circuit" (see ambit)—see full discussion and bibliography there.

Noun

Middle English haunt, hant "frequent visiting, resort, a place frequented, habitual practice of something, usage," borrowed from Anglo-French hant, haunt, derivative of hanter "to frequent, haunt entry 1"

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Time Traveler for haunt

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for haunt

Last Updated

15 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Haunt.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/haunt. Accessed 15 May. 2021.

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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.

More from Merriam-Webster on haunt

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for haunt

Nglish: Translation of haunt for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of haunt for Arabic Speakers

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