adjective, ghost·li·er, ghost·li·est.

of, characteristic of, or resembling a ghost; phantasmal; spectral.
Literary. spiritual.

Origin of ghostly

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

Synonyms for ghostly Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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

of or resembling a ghost; spectrala ghostly face appeared at the window
suggesting the presence of ghosts; eerie
archaic of or relating to the soul or spirit
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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper