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ghost word

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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.

VIDEO FOR GHOST WORD

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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QUIZ
QUIZ YOURSELF ON "WAS" VS. "WERE"!
Were you ready for a quiz on this topic? Well, here it is! See how well you can differentiate between the uses of "was" vs. "were" in this quiz.
Question 1 of 7
“Was” is used for the indicative past tense of “to be,” and “were” is only used for the subjunctive past tense.

Origin of ghost word

First recorded in 1885–90
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use ghost word in a sentence

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
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