ghost word


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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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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Origin of ghost word

First recorded in 1885–90
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for ghost word

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