- 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 haunts
But today it's precisely a lack of belief and conviction that haunts this president.Hope Isn’t Enough: Without Conviction or Destination, Obama Flounders
July 19, 2013
This ghost guest writes in Spanish and tells us that she haunts our eighth-floor, ocean-view room.One First-Timer’s Adventures in Culebra and Puerto Rico
March 14, 2013
As John Judis showed in a superb 2007 profile, Vietnam haunts Hagel to this day.Hagel: The New Eisenhower
December 18, 2012
Astonishingly, no one falls prey to the posturing or preening that haunts most Western conferences.Nurturing a Patriotic Opposition
December 11, 2012
The man who haunts Wall Street lives unaware of all the street's doings.David's Bookclub: Bartleby the Scrivener
November 26, 2012
He haunts me all day long, and all the night I dream of him!The Bacillus of Beauty
He was going to search for them and find them in their haunts of sin and misery.The Christian
It tells no tale, but there is a weird power about it that haunts one, and it was for that I bought it.Masterpieces of Mystery
Knowing the haunts of hens, he went toward the currant bushes.David Dunne
Belle Kanaris Maniates
His haunts necessarily kept him from meeting with those whom he had once known.Garrison's Finish
W. B. M. Ferguson
- 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 haunts
"place or places one frequents," early 14c.; see haunt (n.).
"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.