poltergeist

[pohl-ter-gahyst]
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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. 2018


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British Dictionary definitions for poltergeist

poltergeist

noun
  1. 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

Word Origin and History for poltergeist
n.

1838, from German Poltergeist, literally "noisy ghost," from poltern "make noise, rattle" (from PIE root *bhel- (4) "to sound, ring, roar;" cf. bellow, bell) + Geist "ghost" (see ghost). In the native idiom of Northern England, such phenomenon likely would be credited to a boggart.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper