[ pohl-ter-gahyst ]
/ ˈpoʊl tərˌgaɪst /


a ghost or spirit supposed to manifest its presence by noises, knockings, etc.


Discover The Influence Of Portuguese On English Via This Quiz!
We’ve gathered some interesting words donated to English from Portuguese … as well as some that just don’t translate at all. Do you know what they mean?
Question 1 of 11
Which of the following animal names traces its immediate origin to Portuguese?

Words nearby poltergeist

Origin of poltergeist

1840–50; < German Poltergeist, equivalent to polter(n) to make noise, knock, rattle + Geist ghost
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for poltergeist

British Dictionary definitions for poltergeist

/ (ˈpɒltəˌɡaɪst) /


a spirit believed to manifest its presence by rappings and other noises and also by acts of mischief, such as throwing furniture about

Word Origin for poltergeist

C19: from German, from poltern to be noisy + Geist ghost
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