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[hawn-ting, hahn-] /ˈhɔn tɪŋ, ˈhɑn-/
remaining in the consciousness; not quickly forgotten:
haunting music; haunting memories.
the act of a person or thing that haunts; visitation.
Origin of haunting
Middle English word dating back to 1275-1325; See origin at haunt, -ing2, -ing1
Related forms
hauntingly, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for hauntingly
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Humming in his ears was the refrain of a song which was both familiar and hauntingly pleasant.

    Blackbeard: Buccaneer Ralph D. Paine
  • Her look of meek despair was hauntingly sad with Anthony on his way home.

    Rhoda Fleming, Complete George Meredith
  • There is something wildly, hauntingly interesting in them; one loves and pities her at the first glance.

    Helen and Arthur Caroline Lee Hentz
  • One could not have named the sweetness that hovered in it—hauntingly.

    Unfinished Portraits Jennette Lee
  • She was hauntingly sure that in like circumstances she would be weak enough to take her trouble toa man like Gordon, for instance.

  • I yearned for the splendour that was gone, yet still seemed so hauntingly almost within reach.

    Incredible Adventures Algernon Blackwood
British Dictionary definitions for hauntingly


(of memories) poignant or persistent
poignantly sentimental; enchantingly or eerily evocative
Derived Forms
hauntingly, adverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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