spook

noun
\ ˈspük How to pronounce spook (audio) \

Definition of spook

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : ghost, specter
2 : an undercover agent : spy

spook

verb
spooked; spooking; spooks

Definition of spook (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

2 : to make frightened or frantic : scare especially : to startle into violent activity (such as stampeding)

intransitive verb

: to become spooked cattle spooking at shadows

Other Words from spook

Noun

spookish \ ˈspü-​kish How to pronounce spook (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for spook

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of spook in a Sentence

Noun Russia recalled its spooks after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Halloween is the night when spooks and goblins are said to roam abroad. Verb The noise spooked the cat. The little girl was spooked by scary masks.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Below, four not-houses of horror: For 25 years, spook enthusiasts have viewed Cincinnati’s Dent Schoolhouse as one of the scariest spots in the country. Matthew Kronsberg, WSJ, 20 Oct. 2021 Below, four not-houses of horror: For 25 years, spook enthusiasts have viewed Cincinnati’s Dent Schoolhouse as one of the scariest spots in the country. Matthew Kronsberg, WSJ, 20 Oct. 2021 Whatever the ghostly case may be, the Devil’s Backbone in Comal County has become the center of local paranormal lore — a perfect fixture for those seeking the ultimate spook on Halloween weekend this year. Annie Blanks, San Antonio Express-News, 27 Oct. 2021 Below, four not-houses of horror: For 25 years, spook enthusiasts have viewed Cincinnati’s Dent Schoolhouse as one of the scariest spots in the country. Matthew Kronsberg, WSJ, 20 Oct. 2021 If the high cost of it all is more trick than treat for you, here are several ways to turn your already smart home into a spook-tacularly genius haunted house. Jennifer Jolly, USA TODAY, 28 Oct. 2021 Bakeries across San Antonio have started to get their spook on as the city settles into the Halloween season. Paul Stephen, San Antonio Express-News, 20 Oct. 2021 After last year’s muted Halloween, even those far less ambitious than Mr. Klock are ready to get their spook on. Matthew Kronsberg, WSJ, 20 Oct. 2021 Add in artifacts and sounds, like hearing a funeral march played on the Reginaphone, and your evening will have some spook. Domenica Bongiovanni, The Indianapolis Star, 14 Oct. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb In another prank that went viral throughout 2020, TikTok users bit down on uncooked pasta as an unsuspecting subject massaged their neck and back, producing a jarring cracking sound to spook the subject. NBC News, 5 Feb. 2022 No sudden movement and no loud noises were allowed because that could spook them. Angela Dawson, Forbes, 3 Nov. 2021 Some past victims are better-prepared today, but a handful look vulnerable and that could spook global investors. Justin Lahart, WSJ, 18 Mar. 2022 In London, the British defense secretary, Ben Wallace, said that Putin’s threat was a distraction designed to spook the West. Robin Wright, The New Yorker, 1 Mar. 2022 The political uncertainty -- a dip in the ruling party’s popularity in the absence of a strong opposition -- would also likely spook investors. Bibhudatta Pradhan, Bloomberg.com, 9 Feb. 2022 Just a glimmer of this dynamic can spook investors. Telis Demos, WSJ, 21 Mar. 2022 Market observers said that while a whipsawing Wall Street could spook small investors into selling, doing so would be a mistake. NBC News, 24 Feb. 2022 The park suggests giving a 100-yard berth to any nesting or pupping wildlife, since our presence can spook away the parent, leaving their eggs or young unattended and vulnerable. Shawnté Salabert, Outside Online, 23 June 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'spook.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of spook

Noun

1801, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1883, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for spook

Noun

Dutch; akin to Middle Low German spōk ghost

Learn More About spook

Dictionary Entries Near spook

spoofer

spook

spookery

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for spook

Cite this Entry

“Spook.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spook. Accessed 18 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for spook

spook

verb
\ ˈspük How to pronounce spook (audio) \
spooked; spooking

Kids Definition of spook

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to make or become frightened

spook

noun

Kids Definition of spook (Entry 2 of 2)

More from Merriam-Webster on spook

Nglish: Translation of spook for Spanish Speakers

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Eponyms: Words Named After People

How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!