specter

[spek-ter]
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noun
  1. a visible incorporeal spirit, especially one of a terrifying nature; ghost; phantom; apparition.
  2. some object or source of terror or dread: the specter of disease or famine.
Also especially British, spec·tre.

Origin of specter

1595–1605; < Latin spectrum; see spectrum

Synonyms for specter

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1. shade. See ghost.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018


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Word Origin and History for specter
n.

c.1600, from French spectre "an image, figure, ghost" (16c.), from Latin spectrum "appearance, vision, apparition" (see spectrum).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper