View synonyms for phantom


or fan·tom

[ fan-tuhm ]


  1. an apparition or specter.
  2. an appearance or illusion without material substance, as a dream image, mirage, or optical illusion.
  3. a person or thing of merely illusory power, status, efficacy, etc.:

    the phantom of fear.

  4. an illustration, part of which is given a transparent effect so as to permit representation of details otherwise hidden from view, as the inner workings of a mechanical device.


  1. of, relating to, or of the nature of a phantom; illusory:

    a phantom sea serpent.

    Synonyms: imaginary

    Antonyms: material, real

  2. Electricity. noting or pertaining to a phantom circuit.
  3. named, included, or recorded but nonexistent; fictitious:

    Payroll checks were made out and cashed for phantom employees.


/ ˈfæntəm /


    1. an apparition or spectre
    2. ( as modifier )

      a phantom army marching through the sky

  1. the visible representation of something abstract, esp as appearing in a dream or hallucination

    phantoms of evil haunted his sleep

  2. something apparently unpleasant or horrific that has no material form
  3. med another name for manikin

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Other Words From

  • phantom·like adjective

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Word History and Origins

Origin of phantom1

1250–1300; Middle English fantosme < Middle French, Old French < Latin phantasma phantasm

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Word History and Origins

Origin of phantom1

C13: from Old French fantosme, from Latin phantasma phantasm

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Synonym Study

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Example Sentences

On the other hand, they can be delicate, don’t do a very good job with loud noises, and also require power from either an internal battery or through a USB connection or a source that can deliver 48v phantom power.

I didn’t want to think that this would happen to us when I got on the plane that rainy afternoon in September, but somewhere in my mind lived the phantom of the definitive separation.

He’s the phantom of a new opera, only he’s here in flesh and blood, to tell us a new story from sounds we’ve heard before.

From Time

So scientists have been curious how much climate-warming gas these phantom ecosystems spew.

The phantom rivers experiment suggests we shouldn’t, she says.

During the 1970s, the then brand new F-15A Eagle carried the same antiquated armament as the Vietnam-era F-4 Phantom II.

The sanctuary the phantom callers promise comes with a price.

As this begins to set in, the phantom caller morphs into Lori, who whispers to her husband, “What happened, Rick?”

He receives phantom phone calls from people who promise him a safe haven.

Doctors, patients, a phantom lawyer (“I spoke with the patient at length, but he is still refusing…”)?

A tall phantom in livery appeared, as if by magic, and signed to me to ascend the grand staircase.

Mankind, mad with the energy of activity, would be seen to pursue the fleeing phantom of insatiable desire.

Our middy53 has gone up to San Francisco in pursuit of the phantom Education.

Jivros, or insect-priests, moved phantom-like before my sleepless eyes, watching from the dark and waiting.

You know the sort of vague light there is in dreams, the colourless empty atmosphere where everything has the look of a phantom.


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phantasyphantom circuit