[ hawnt, hahnt; for 10 also hant ]
See synonyms for: haunthauntedhauntinghaunter on Thesaurus.com

verb (used with object)
  1. to visit habitually or appear to frequently as a spirit or ghost: to haunt a house; to haunt a person.

  2. to recur persistently to the consciousness of; remain with: Memories of love haunted him.

  1. to visit frequently; go to often: He haunted the galleries and bars that the artists went to.

  2. to frequent the company of; be often with: He haunted famous men, hoping to gain celebrity for himself.

  3. to disturb or distress; cause to have anxiety; trouble; worry: His youthful escapades came back to haunt him.

verb (used without object)
  1. to reappear continually as a spirit or ghost.

  2. to visit habitually or regularly.

  1. to remain persistently; loiter; stay; linger.

  1. Often haunts. a place frequently visited: to return to one's old haunts.

  2. Chiefly Midland and Southern U.S. and North England. a ghost.

Origin of haunt

1200–50; Middle English haunten<Old French hanter to frequent, probably <Old Norse heimta to lead home, derivative of heim homewards; see home

Other words for haunt

Other words from haunt

  • haunter, noun

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use haunt in a sentence

  • When the season for this seed was over—and the season is always a short one—the haunter of the furrows would perish.

    More Hunting Wasps | J. Henri Fabre
  • Now we are asked to allow a tomb-haunter to call a parricide to disclose that which he himself is ignorant of.

    Kai Lung's Golden Hours | Ernest Bramah
  • Auction-haunter different from prowler, 88 et seq.Authors and compositors, 77 et seq.

    The Book-Hunter | John Hill Burton
  • He is rich it may be; but a haunter of idle and debauched company—a common prizefighter, who has shed human blood like water.

    The Fair Maid of Perth | Sir Walter Scott
  • The effect was uncanny and the Hermit ceased to wonder that he had been unable to catch a glimpse of this haunter of his trail.

British Dictionary definitions for haunt


/ (hɔːnt) /

  1. to visit (a person or place) in the form of a ghost

  2. (tr) to intrude upon or recur to (the memory, thoughts, etc): he was haunted by the fear of insanity

  1. to visit (a place) frequently

  2. to associate with (someone) frequently

  1. (often plural) a place visited frequently: an old haunt of hers

  2. a place to which animals habitually resort for food, drink, shelter, etc

Origin of haunt

C13: from Old French hanter, of Germanic origin; compare Old Norse heimta to bring home, Old English hāmettan to give a home to; see home

Derived forms of haunt

  • haunter, 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