definitions
  • synonyms

ghost word

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WATCH NOW: What Scares A Dictionary? Ghost Words!

WATCH NOW: What Scares A Dictionary? Ghost Words!

Ghost words haunt dictionaries like ours because they came into existence by error like a mistaken reading of a manuscript, a scribal error, or a misprint ... eerie.

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noun

a word that has come into existence by error rather than by normal linguistic transmission, as through the mistaken reading of a manuscript, a scribal error, or a misprint.

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Nearby words

ghost net, ghost prisoner, ghost shrimp, ghost story, ghost town, ghost word, ghost writer, ghost-weed, ghostfish, ghosting, ghostly

Origin of ghost word

First recorded in 1885–90
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for ghost word

  • But it is unrecorded in literature and labours under the suspicion of being a ghost-word.

    The Romance of Words (4th ed.)|Ernest Weekley

British Dictionary definitions for ghost word

ghost word


noun

a word that has entered the language through the perpetuation, in dictionaries, etc, of an error
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