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See more synonyms for ghostly on Thesaurus.com
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

Synonyms for ghostly

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

Related Words for ghostly

spectral, scary, eerie, shadowy, supernatural, ghastly, weird, cadaverous, divine, haunted, holy, illusory, insubstantial, pale, phantom, spiritual, uncanny, unearthly, wan, deathlike

Examples from the Web for ghostly

Contemporary Examples of ghostly

Historical Examples of ghostly

  • Ghostly and dark the room became, and full of lowering shadows.

  • Thrice he breaks water, a white and ghostly apparition from the deep.

    The Forest

    Stewart Edward White

  • I suppose you would go away and leave me alone in this ghostly light.'

    Wilfrid Cumbermede

    George MacDonald

  • I tried to follow my ghostly father's direction, but how hard it was to do so!

  • There could be no doubt now of the ghostly smile that played upon his face.

    A Son of Hagar

    Sir Hall Caine

British Dictionary definitions for ghostly


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 ghostly


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