1

haunt

verb \ ˈhȯnt , ˈhänt \
Updated on: 17 Nov 2017

Definition of haunt

transitive verb
1 a :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
2 a :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

haunter

noun

hauntingly

play \ˈhȯn-tiŋ-lē, ˈhän-\ adverb

Examples of haunt in a Sentence

  1. Some people believe that the ghost of an old sea captain haunts the beach.

  2. If you ignore the problem, it will come back to haunt you.

  3. Their failure to plan ahead is now coming back to haunt them.

  4. The tune haunted me all day.

Recent Examples of haunt from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of haunt

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

haunt Synonyms

Synonyms
affect, habituate, hang (at), frequent, resort (to), visit
Antonyms
avoid, shun
Related Words
patronize; attend, take in; infest, invade, overrun, swarm; call (on or upon), drop by, drop in, pop (in), run (in), stop (in or by); camp (out in), sojourn (at), stay (at), stop (over), tarry (in)
Near Antonyms
dodge, duck, elude, escape, eschew, evade, shake

2

haunt

noun \ ˈhȯnt , ˈhänt , sense 2 is usually ˈhant \

Definition of haunt

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

Examples of haunt in a Sentence

  1. The restaurant became one of her favorite haunts.

  2. one of their favorite after-school haunts is Joe's Pizza

Recent Examples of haunt from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of haunt

see 1haunt



HAUNT Defined for English Language Learners

haunt

verb

Definition of haunt for English Language Learners

  • 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

Definition of haunt for English Language Learners

  • : a place that you go to often


HAUNT Defined for Kids

1

haunt

verb \ ˈhȯnt \

Definition of haunt for Students

haunted; haunting
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.

2

haunt

noun

Definition of haunt for Students

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


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