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

As the years went by and Roberts had a daughter, she would be haunted by a fear that Epstein was still taking advantage of young girls. Julie K. Brown, The Seattle Times, "Perversion of Justice: Even from jail, sex abuser manipulated the system. His victims were kept in the dark," 4 Dec. 2018 Many Malaysians have been haunted for decades by racial riots in 1969 that killed more than 200 people. Washington Post, "Ex-Malaysia leader’s arrest part of a swift fall from grace," 3 July 2018 Even with a nearly 3-minute lead transitioning to the run, Romanenko might have been haunted by the past. Don Norcross, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Third time’s a charm for Romanenko at S.D. International Triathlon," 24 June 2018 Then there is haunting, which is entirely different from haunted. Aimee Levitt, Chicago Reader, "Lincoln, lizard mounds, angels, devil’s curses, and junk food magnates: midwestern cemeteries have ’em all," 30 May 2018 Britain’s is still haunted by the memory of the revelation in 2007 that 25m child-benefit records had been lost in the post. The Economist, "Government data are ever more important to economic research," 26 May 2018 Draymond Green is likely haunted by missed opportunities at the end of Game 5 in Houston on Thursday night. Bruce Jenkins, San Francisco Chronicle, "Flawed Warriors will find solace at Oracle," 25 May 2018 The photographs of Henryk Ross haunt us in a particular way. New York Times, "The Art of Staying Cool: 10 Can’t-Miss Summer Shows in New York," 4 July 2018 And that missed penalty in the opening match will likely haunt him for a very long time. SI.com, "Argentina Manager Throws 'Limited' Squad Under the Bus to Defend Lionel Messi Performance," 22 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 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

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 Mar 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

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