apparition

[ ap-uh-rish-uhn ]
/ ˌæp əˈrɪʃ ən /

noun

a supernatural appearance of a person or thing, especially a ghost; a specter or phantom; wraith: a ghostly apparition at midnight.
anything that appears, especially something remarkable or startling: the surprising apparition of cowboys in New York City.
an act of appearing; manifestation.
Astronomy. the appearance or time when a comet, especially a periodic one, is visible: the 1986 apparition of Halley's comet.

Origin of apparition

1400–50; late Middle English apparicio(u)n < Anglo-French, Old French < Late Latin appāritiōn- (stem of appāritiō, as calque of Greek epipháneia epiphany), equivalent to Latin appārit(us) (past participle of appārēre; see appear) + -iōn- -ion

Related forms

ap·pa·ri·tion·al, adjectivenon·ap·pa·ri·tion·al, adjective

Synonym study

1. Apparition, phantasm, phantom are terms for a supernatural appearance. An apparition of a person or thing is an immaterial appearance that seems real, and is generally sudden or startling in its manifestation: an apparition of a headless horseman. Both phantom and phantasm denote an illusory appearance, as in a dream; the former may be pleasant, while the latter is usually frightening: a phantom of loveliness; a monstrous phantasm.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for apparition

British Dictionary definitions for apparition

apparition

/ (ˌæpəˈrɪʃən) /

noun

an appearance, esp of a ghost or ghostlike figure
the figure so appearing; phantom; spectre
the act of appearing or being visible

Word Origin for apparition

C15: from Late Latin appāritiō, from Latin: attendance, from appārēre to appear
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