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spectre

[spek-ter] /ˈspɛk tər/
noun, Chiefly British.
1.

specter

[spek-ter] /ˈspɛk tər/
noun
1.
a visible incorporeal spirit, especially one of a terrifying nature; ghost; phantom; apparition.
2.
some object or source of terror or dread:
the specter of disease or famine.
Also, especially British, spectre.
Origin of specter
1595-1605
1595-1605; < Latin spectrum; see spectrum
Synonyms
1. shade. See ghost.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for spectre
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Perhaps, to observe whether he had any spectre on his conscience.

    A Tale of Two Cities Charles Dickens
  • Get rid of that, and you have driven away the spectre of hunger for ever.

    Freeland Theodor Hertzka
  • The Shadow which lurks in every bridal lamp had become the spectre of the bedchamber.

    Bride of the Mistletoe James Lane Allen
  • The frightfulness of his intention stood like a spectre before me.

    The Book of Khalid Ameen Rihani
  • He was afraid that Therese might bring the spectre of Camille with her.

    Therese Raquin Emile Zola
  • And behold the thought of Therese brought up the spectre of her husband.

    Therese Raquin Emile Zola
British Dictionary definitions for spectre

spectre

/ˈspɛktə/
noun
1.
a ghost; phantom; apparition
2.
a mental image of something unpleasant or menacing: the spectre of redundancy
Word Origin
C17: from Latin spectrum, from specere to look at
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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Word Origin and History for spectre
n.

chiefly British English spelling of specter (q.v.); for spelling, see -re.

specter

n.

c.1600, from French spectre "an image, figure, ghost" (16c.), from Latin spectrum "appearance, vision, apparition" (see spectrum).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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11
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