Idioms

    give up the ghost,
    1. to die.
    2. to cease to function or exist.

Origin of ghost

before 900; Middle English goost (noun), Old English gāst; cognate with German Geist spirit
Related formsghost·i·ly, adverbghost·like, adjectivede·ghost, verb (used with object)un·ghost·like, adjective

Synonyms for ghost

1. apparition, phantom, phantasm, wraith, revenant; shade, spook. Ghost, specter, spirit all refer to the disembodied soul of a person. A ghost is the soul or spirit of a deceased person, which appears or otherwise makes its presence known to the living: the ghost of a drowned child. A specter is a ghost or apparition of more or less weird, unearthly, or terrifying aspect: a frightening specter. Spirit is often interchangeable with ghost but may mean a supernatural being, usually with an indication of good or malign intent toward human beings: the spirit of a friend; an evil spirit.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019


Examples from the Web for ghostlike

Historical Examples of ghostlike


British Dictionary definitions for ghostlike

ghost

noun

the disembodied spirit of a dead person, supposed to haunt the living as a pale or shadowy vision; phantomRelated adjective: spectral
a haunting memorythe ghost of his former life rose up before him
a faint trace or possibility of something; glimmera ghost of a smile
the spirit; soul (archaic, except in the phrase the Holy Ghost)
physics
  1. a faint secondary image produced by an optical system
  2. a similar image on a television screen, formed by reflection of the transmitting waves or by a defect in the receiver
Also called: ghost edition an entry recorded in a bibliography of which no actual proof exists
Another name for ghostwriterSee ghostwrite
(modifier) falsely recorded as doing a particular job or fulfilling a particular function in order that some benefit, esp money, may be obtaineda ghost worker
give up the ghost
  1. to die
  2. (of a machine) to stop working

verb

(tr) to haunt
(intr) to move effortlessly and smoothly, esp unnoticedhe ghosted into the penalty area
Derived Formsghostlike, adjective

Word Origin for ghost

Old English gāst; related to Old Frisian jēst, Old High German geist spirit, Sanskrit hēda fury, anger
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

Word Origin and History for ghostlike

ghost

n.

Old English gast "soul, spirit, life, breath; good or bad spirit, angel, demon," from Proto-Germanic *ghoizdoz (cf. Old Saxon gest, Old Frisian jest, Middle Dutch gheest, Dutch geest, German Geist "spirit, ghost"), from PIE root *gheis- "to be excited, amazed, frightened" (cf. Sanskrit hedah "wrath;" Avestan zaesha- "horrible, frightful;" Gothic usgaisjan, Old English gæstan "to frighten"). This was the usual West Germanic word for "supernatural being," and the primary sense seems to have been connected to the idea of "to wound, tear, pull to pieces." The surviving Old English senses, however, are in Christian writing, where it is used to render Latin spiritus, a sense preserved in Holy Ghost. Modern sense of "disembodied spirit of a dead person" is attested from late 14c. and returns the word toward its ancient sense.

Most Indo-European words for "soul, spirit" also double with reference to supernatural spirits. Many have a base sense of "appearance" (e.g. Greek phantasma; French spectre; Polish widmo, from Old Church Slavonic videti "to see;" Old English scin, Old High German giskin, originally "appearance, apparition," related to Old English scinan, Old High German skinan "to shine"). Other concepts are in French revenant, literally "returning" (from the other world), Old Norse aptr-ganga, literally "back-comer." Breton bugelnoz is literally "night-child." Latin manes probably is a euphemism.

The gh- spelling appeared early 15c. in Caxton, influenced by Flemish and Middle Dutch gheest, but was rare in English before mid-16c. Sense of "slight suggestion" (in ghost image, ghost of a chance, etc.) is first recorded 1610s; that in ghost writing is from 1884, but that term is not found until 1919. Ghost town is from 1908. To give up the ghost "die" was in Old English. Ghost in the machine was Gilbert Ryle's term (1949) for "the mind viewed as separate from the body."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with ghostlike

ghost

In addition to the idiom beginning with ghost

  • ghost town

also see:

  • Chinaman's (ghost of a) chance
  • give up the ghost
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.