- a ghost or spirit supposed to manifest its presence by noises, knockings, etc.
Origin of poltergeist
1840–50; < German Poltergeist, equivalent to polter(n) to make noise, knock, rattle + Geist ghost
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for poltergeist
H.R. Giger, best known for his work on movies like Alien and Poltergeist 2, died at the age of 74.Hollywood’s Sci-Fi Artist H.R. Giger Dead at 74
May 13, 2014
The plot hews close to Poltergeist, the Tobe Hooper-directed, Steven Spielberg-produced haunted house classic from 1982.Insidious' Unsettling Horror
April 1, 2011
I was told you claimed you had to have a poltergeist in the process.
Yet where did these articles go, and of what use would they be to a poltergeist?Byways of Ghost-Land
In case you rejected our applicant for the poltergeist job you have in mind, I was to hand you this.
On this theory they sent her to her home in a neighboring village, where the poltergeist continued to annoy her.Adventurings in the Psychical
H. Addington Bruce
Poltergeist phenomena, however, seldom coincide with the ordinary phenomena of a haunt.Human Personality and its Survival of Bodily Death
Frederick W. H. Myers
- a spirit believed to manifest its presence by rappings and other noises and also by acts of mischief, such as throwing furniture about
C19: from German, from poltern to be noisy + Geist ghost
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
Word Origin and History for poltergeist
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper