[ gohst ]
/ goʊst /
the soul of a dead person, a disembodied spirit imagined, usually as a vague, shadowy or evanescent form, as wandering among or haunting living persons.
a mere shadow or semblance; a trace: He's a ghost of his former self.
a remote possibility: He hasn't a ghost of a chance.
(sometimes initial capital letter) a spiritual being.
the principle of life; soul; spirit.
Informal. ghost writer.
a secondary image, especially one appearing on a television screen as a white shadow, caused by poor or double reception or by a defect in the receiver.
Also called ghost image. Photography. a faint secondary or out-of-focus image in a photographic print or negative resulting from reflections within the camera lens.
an oral word game in which each player in rotation adds a letter to those supplied by preceding players, the object being to avoid ending a word.
Optics. a series of false spectral lines produced by a diffraction grating with unevenly spaced lines.
Metalworking. a streak appearing on a freshly machined piece of steel containing impurities.
a red blood cell having no hemoglobin.
a fictitious employee, business, etc., fabricated especially for the purpose of manipulating funds or avoiding taxes: Investigation showed a payroll full of ghosts.
verb (used with object)
to ghostwrite (a book, speech, etc.).
Engraving. to lighten the background of (a photograph) before engraving.
- to suddenly end all contact with (a person) without explanation, especially in a romantic relationship:The guy I’ve been dating ghosted me.
- to leave (a social event or gathering) suddenly without saying goodbye:My friend ghosted my birthday party.
Digital Technology. to remove (comments, threads, or other digital content) from a website or online forum without informing the poster, keeping them hidden from the public but still visible to the poster.
verb (used without object)
to go about or move like a ghost.
(of a sailing vessel) to move when there is no perceptible wind.
to pay people for work not performed, especially as a way of manipulating funds.
- to suddenly end all contact with a person without explanation, especially in a romantic relationship:They dated for a month and then she ghosted.
- to leave a social event or gathering suddenly without saying goodbye:I'm getting tired so I think I might just ghost.
Digital Technology. to remove comments, threads, or other digital content from a website or online forum without informing the poster, keeping them hidden from the public but still visible to the poster.
fabricated for purposes of deception or fraud: We were making contributions to a ghost company.
Ghost Words That Are Haunting The DictionaryHow did these words make it into the dictionary? Thank a simple mistake for these ghost words.
What’s The Difference Among Ghouls, Goblins, And Ghosts?Come Halloween, miniature ghosts, ghouls, and goblins ring your doorbell. But each of the three freaky frights has a different history and personality. One of the only features these staples of the supernatural share is their ghastliness. Ghosts are considered to be the souls of the dead. They are imagined as disembodied spirits, and are often visualized as vague or evanescent forms; hence, the white sheet routine. The Old English gast …
- to die.
- to cease to function or exist.
give up the ghost,
Origin of ghost
before 900; Middle English goost (noun), Old English gāst; cognate with German Geist spirit
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.
Related formsghost·i·ly, adverbghost·like, adjectivede·ghost, verb (used with object)un·ghost·like, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
British Dictionary definitions for give up the ghost
/ (ɡəʊst) /
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)
- a faint secondary image produced by an optical system
- a similar image on a television screen, formed by reflection of the transmitting waves or by a defect in the receiver
See ghost word
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
- to die
- (of a machine) to stop working
(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
Idioms and Phrases with give up the ghost (1 of 2)
give up the ghost
Die, as in At ten o'clock he gave up the ghost. This expression, which employs ghost in the sense of “the soul or spirit,” may itself be dying out. [Late 1300s]
Idioms and Phrases with give up the ghost (2 of 2)
In addition to the idiom beginning with ghost
- ghost town
- 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.