- remaining in the consciousness; not quickly forgotten: haunting music; haunting memories.
- the act of a person or thing that haunts; visitation.
Origin of haunting
- to visit habitually or appear to frequently as a spirit or ghost: to haunt a house; to haunt a person.
- to recur persistently to the consciousness of; remain with: Memories of love haunted him.
- to visit frequently; go to often: He haunted the galleries and bars that the artists went to.
- to frequent the company of; be often with: He haunted famous men, hoping to gain celebrity for himself.
- to disturb or distress; cause to have anxiety; trouble; worry: His youthful escapades came back to haunt him.
- to reappear continually as a spirit or ghost.
- to visit habitually or regularly.
- to remain persistently; loiter; stay; linger.
- Often haunts. a place frequently visited: to return to one's old haunts.
- Chiefly Midland and Southern U.S. and North England. a ghost.
Origin of haunt
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for haunting
This sultry ballad about break-ups and make-ups in the City of Angels is haunting stuff.The 14 Best Songs of 2014: Bobby Shmurda, Future Islands, Drake, and More
December 31, 2014
A study in American military control, a haunting sui generis novel, and a playful new short story collection.This Weeks Hot Reads: November 3, 2014
November 3, 2014
I ask Vlad what his worst memory was about his time in Russia, and his answers are haunting.‘To Russia With Love’: Can Johnny Weir Save Russia’s Gays?
October 29, 2014
There was a feeling of sweetness and a haunting beauty in both his personality and his music.When Gary Wright Met George Harrison: Dream Weaver, John and Yoko, and More
September 29, 2014
Television news can be a glorious medium, filled with striking human drama and haunting sorrow.We Interrupt This Broadcast: How a TV Producer Learned to Write Fiction
September 9, 2014
Or I might compare them to cherubs, haunting that holy place.Sunday at Home (From "Twice Told Tales")
Sad gardens stretch into sad parks; sad parks into storied and haunting forests.
Of all fears the most dogging and haunting are those connected with money.
One might laugh at the old conspirator's haunting thought of the police.The Three Cities Trilogy, Complete
She who had been as a haunting discomfort to me, had grown to be my one consolation.Wilfrid Cumbermede
- (of memories) poignant or persistent
- poignantly sentimental; enchantingly or eerily evocative
- to visit (a person or place) in the form of a ghost
- (tr) to intrude upon or recur to (the memory, thoughts, etc)he was haunted by the fear of insanity
- to visit (a place) frequently
- to associate with (someone) frequently
- (often plural) a place visited frequentlyan old haunt of hers
- a place to which animals habitually resort for food, drink, shelter, etc
Word Origin and History for haunting
"place frequently visited," c.1300, also in Middle English, "habit, custom" (early 14c.), from haunt (v.). The meaning "spirit that haunts a place, ghost" is first recorded 1843, originally in stereotypical U.S. black speech.
early 13c., "to practice habitually, busy oneself with, take part in," from Old French hanter "to frequent, resort to, be familiar with" (12c.), probably from Old Norse heimta "bring home," from Proto-Germanic *haimat-janan, from *haimaz- (see home). Meaning "to frequent (a place)" is c.1300 in English. Use in reference to a spirit returning to the house where it had lived perhaps was in Proto-Germanic, but it was reinforced by Shakespeare's plays, and it is first recorded 1590 in "A Midsummer Night's Dream." Related: Haunted; haunting. Middle English hauntingly meant "frequently;" sense of "so as to haunt one's thoughts or memory" is from 1859.