spook

noun
\ˈspük \

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

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Other Words from spook

Noun

spookish \ˈspü-kish \ adjective

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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Top water bite has started early and late, try spooks, poppers, or buzz baits. Tyler Mahoney Special To The Star, kansascity, "Fishing report: Catfish action picking up in Kansas, Missouri lakes," 11 July 2018 The accusation that Corbyn might have been an asset for spooks behind the Iron Curtain was quickly embraced by top Tory politicians. William Booth, Washington Post, "Britain in a stir over accusation that Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was a Cold War ‘asset’ for Czech spies," 20 Feb. 2018 Top water bite has started early and late, try spooks, poppers, or buzz baits. Tyler Mahoney Special To The Star, kansascity, "Fishing report: Catfish action picking up in Kansas, Missouri lakes," 11 July 2018 Top water bite has started early and late, try spooks, poppers, or buzz baits. Tyler Mahoney Special To The Star, kansascity, "Fishing report: Catfish action picking up in Kansas, Missouri lakes," 11 July 2018 On many of these Mrs May has responded more robustly than Tony Blair did following the fatal poisoning in 2006, with polonium, of another Russian ex-spook, Alexander Litvinenko. The Economist, "Britain’s poisoned relationship with Russia," 15 Mar. 2018 Top water bite has started early and late, try spooks, poppers, or buzz baits. Tyler Mahoney Special To The Star, kansascity, "Fishing report: Catfish action picking up in Kansas, Missouri lakes," 11 July 2018 Its most notorious thugs have been arrested, some spooks have been sacked and the rest are getting human-rights training. The Economist, "The Gambia’s once-ruthless intelligence agency is opening up," 10 Jan. 2018 Top water bite has started early and late, try spooks, poppers, or buzz baits. Tyler Mahoney Special To The Star, kansascity, "Fishing report: Catfish action picking up in Kansas, Missouri lakes," 11 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

While nobody was injured in either collapse, the first incident spooked some nearby residents. Darcy Costello, The Courier-Journal, "Barton 1792 spill filled big bourbon ponds with thousands of gallons," 6 July 2018 Some high-profile incidents among Uber drivers are helping spook employers into taking action, including an Uber Eats driver in Atlanta who allegedly shot and killed a customer in February. Bloomberg, Fortune, "Rolling Background Checks at Work Are Becoming a Thing," 11 July 2018 These rides were taped in the fall of 2017; Seinfeld, as if representing the entire male gender, is obsessed and perhaps even spooked by the Harvey Weinstein revelations and the fresh attention on gender relations. Hank Stuever, chicagotribune.com, "'Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee' review: Series finally run out of gas — but is that Seinfeld's fault?," 9 July 2018 Mass demonstrations against voter fraud in the December parliamentary elections thronged Russian cities and spooked the Kremlin. Daniel Beer, New York Times, "Does Vladimir Putin Speak for the Russian People?," 6 July 2018 Dogs and cats that are left outdoors on Independence Day often get spooked by fireworks exploding above and get loose, often ending up in the hands of Louisville Metro Animal Services, said Teeya Barnes, public information specialist for the agency. Kate Talerico, The Courier-Journal, "Lost your pet on July 4? Try looking for them at Louisville shelters," 5 July 2018 Escalating trade friction with the U.S. is spooking Canadian households and sending consumer confidence into a slide. Tory Newmyer, Washington Post, "The Finance 202: Navarro stems stock sell-off by discounting trade war," 26 June 2018 The statement may also indicate that the ambition and speed of the US approach -- which implies invasive inspections of the North's nuclear, missile and chemical and biological weapons programs and confiscation of its arsenals -- has spooked Kim. Stephen Collinson, CNN, "Trump's Korea hopes thrown into turmoil," 16 May 2018 Several weeks ago, as tensions between the White House and Beijing escalated, both sides promised to impose increasingly severe trade restrictions on the other, spooking financial markets amid fears of a trade war. Anchorage Daily News, "Penalties against China telecom giant ZTE become a bargaining chip in potential trade deal," 14 May 2018

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.

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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

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Dictionary Entries near spook

spontoon

spoof

spoofer

spook

spookery

spookfish

spookism

Statistics for spook

Last Updated

23 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for spook

The first known use of spook was in 1801

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More Definitions for spook

spook

verb

English Language Learners Definition of spook

: to scare or frighten (a person or animal)

: to become frightened

spook

verb
\ˈspük \
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)

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Comments on spook

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evasion of direct action or statement

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