[ gast-lee, gahst- ]
/ ˈgæst li, ˈgɑst- /

adjective, ghast·li·er, ghast·li·est.

shockingly frightful or dreadful; horrible: a ghastly murder.
resembling a ghost, especially in being very pale: a ghastly look to his face.
terrible; very bad: a ghastly error.


Also ghast·li·ly, ghast·i·ly. in a ghastly manner; horribly; terribly.
with a deathlike quality.

Words nearby ghastly

Origin of ghastly

1275–1325; Middle English gastly; see ghast, -ly


ghast·li·ness, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for ghastly

British Dictionary definitions for ghastly

/ (ˈɡɑːstlɪ) /

adjective -lier or -liest

informal very bad or unpleasant
deathly pale; wan
informal extremely unwell; illthey felt ghastly after the party
terrifying; horrible


unhealthily; sicklyghastly pale
archaic in a horrible or hideous manner

Derived forms of ghastly

ghastliness, noun

Word Origin for ghastly

Old English gāstlīc spiritual; see ghostly
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