aghast

[uh-gast, uh-gahst]

adjective

struck with overwhelming shock or amazement; filled with sudden fright or horror: They stood aghast at the sight of the plane crashing.

Nearby words

  1. aggrieve,
  2. aggrieved,
  3. aggro,
  4. agh.,
  5. agha,
  6. agi,
  7. agilawood,
  8. agile,
  9. agilely,
  10. agility

Origin of aghast

1225–75; Middle English agast frightened, past participle of agasten, equivalent to a- a-3 + gasten, Old English gǣstan to frighten, earlier *gāstjan < Germanic causative *gaistjan; see ghost

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for aghast


British Dictionary definitions for aghast

aghast

adjective

(postpositive) overcome with amazement or horror

Word Origin for aghast

C13: agast, from Old English gæstan to frighten. The spelling with gh is on the model of ghastly

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 aghast

aghast

adj.

c.1300, agast, "terrified," past participle of Middle English agasten "to frighten" (c.1200), from a- intensive prefix + Old English gæstan "to terrify," from gæst "spirit, ghost" (see ghost). The -gh- spelling appeared early 15c. in Scottish and is possibly a Flemish influence, or after ghost, etc. It became general after 1700.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper