• synonyms


adjective, ghost·li·er, ghost·li·est.
  1. of, characteristic of, or resembling a ghost; phantasmal; spectral.
  2. Literary. spiritual.
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Origin of ghostly

before 900; Middle English; Old English gāstlīc. See ghost, -ly
Related formsghost·li·ness, nounun·ghost·ly, adjective


Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for ghostliness

Historical Examples

  • For Kit was pale to ghostliness as he stood there in the moonlight.

    The Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe

    Amanda Minnie Douglas

  • Here among these hills with all their ghostliness she would haunt me.

  • In her light silk gown she looked almost ethereal and added to the ghostliness of the scene.

    The Web of the Golden Spider

    Frederick Orin Bartlett

  • For an instant there was a sense of unreality, of ghostliness, and then she gave a little cry of pain and joy.

  • With all its luxuriance of color, with all its violence of light, this tropical day has its ghostliness and its ghosts.

British Dictionary definitions for ghostliness


adjective -lier or -liest
  1. of or resembling a ghost; spectrala ghostly face appeared at the window
  2. suggesting the presence of ghosts; eerie
  3. archaic of or relating to the soul or spirit
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Derived Formsghostliness, noun
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 ghostliness



Old English gastlic "spiritual, holy; clerical;" also "ghostly, spectral, pertaining to or characteristic of a ghost;" see ghost + -ly (1). Related: Ghostliness.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper