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

Hurdle didn't name names but said one of his players became spooked when a TV in his room turned on twice in one night. Jr Radcliffe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Here's a list of MLB players who have been haunted by Milwaukee's Pfister Hotel," 22 June 2018 Meanwhile, news of Cape Town’s drought seems to have spooked would-be 2018 safari-goers. Pilar Guzmán, Condé Nast Traveler, "You Can Still Book A Last-Minute Safari Now (And Bless the Rains Down in Africa...)," 1 May 2018 Google also wouldn't want to spook Android device makers by loudly signaling that a new operating system is coming. Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica, "Google I/O 2018 preview—What we’re expecting from Google’s big show," 30 Apr. 2018 According to prosecutors, Mateen intended to attack Disney World’s shopping and entertainment complex by hiding a gun in a stroller but became spooked by police and chose a new target. Washington Post, "Widow of Orlando nightclub gunman is acquitted in the attack," 30 Mar. 2018 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

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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