specter

noun
spec·​ter | \ ˈspek-tər \
variants: or spectre

Definition of specter

1 : a visible disembodied spirit : ghost
2 : something that haunts or perturbs the mind : phantasm the specter of hunger

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Examples of specter in a Sentence

feeling so terrified that every shadow became a specter

Recent Examples on the Web

Based on Sarai Walker’s book of the same name, Dietland succeeds most when examining—and granting license to—the twin specters of female resentment and fury. Hannah Giorgis, The Atlantic, "Dietland Envisions a World of Female Revenge," 5 June 2018 The movie feints in the direction of confronting horrific geopolitical realities, but there’s a specter of sentimentality hovering above the proceedings, waiting to smother everything in sight. Glenn Kenny, New York Times, "Review: In ‘Submergence,’ a Love Story Sunk by Geopolitics," 12 Apr. 2018 If your worldview suggests the world is dangerous, the specter of terrorism will, of course, be especially concerning. Ezra Klein, Vox, "A new theory for why Republicans and Democrats see the world differently," 18 Dec. 2018 The biggest threats to the economic boom and financial markets today are a deflationary Federal Reserve and the specter of a global trade war. Stephen Moore, WSJ, "The Trump Boom Is No Mere ‘Sugar High’," 9 Dec. 2018 The specter of nuclear annihilation is something to sing about. Paul Ross, Popular Mechanics, "I Am Become Opera: An Atomic Show In the Shadow of Los Alamos," 27 July 2018 Investors have long been contending with the possibility that U.S. economic growth will slow next year, raising the specter of a recession. Michael Wursthorn, WSJ, "Stock Rout Puts Nasdaq in Bear Market," 21 Dec. 2018 The American legislators repeatedly brought up the specter of Russian influence in the 2016 election through Facebook and other social media. Sarah Jeong, The Verge, "Now Russia wants Zuckerberg to testify for them, too," 31 May 2018 Well, right now, today, is the specter of what’s going to happen in the economy. Eric Johnson, Recode, "Big data could ‘stop famines from ever happening again,’ says World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim," 24 Sep. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'specter.' 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 specter

1605, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for specter

French spectre, from Latin spectrum appearance, specter, from specere to look, look at — more at spy

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Statistics for specter

Last Updated

29 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for specter

The first known use of specter was in 1605

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More Definitions for specter

specter

noun

English Language Learners Definition of specter

literary : a ghost or spirit of a dead person

specter

noun
spec·​ter
variants: or spectre \ ˈspek-​tər \

Kids Definition of specter

1 : ghost
2 : something that haunts or bothers the mind the specter of starvation

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More from Merriam-Webster on specter

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with specter

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for specter

Spanish Central: Translation of specter

Nglish: Translation of specter for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of specter for Arabic Speakers

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