Also found in: Thesaurus, Legal, Encyclopedia.


1. A ghostly figure; a specter.
2. A sudden or unusual sight: "[The designer's] indoor-outdoor reversals and juxtapositions call forth a Magritte apparition beneath a Miami moon" (Herbert Muschamp).
3. The act of appearing; appearance.

[Middle English apparicioun, from Old French apparition, from Late Latin appāritiō, appāritiōn-, an appearance, from Latin appāritus, past participle of appārēre, to appear; see appear.]

ap′pa·ri′tion·al adj.


of or relating to an apparition or apparitions; ghostly, spectral
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.apparitional - resembling or characteristic of a phantom; "a ghostly face at the window"; "a phantasmal presence in the room"; "spectral emanations"; "spiritual tappings at a seance"
supernatural - not existing in nature or subject to explanation according to natural laws; not physical or material; "supernatural forces and occurrences and beings"
References in classic literature ?
People enough, first and last, had been in terror of apparitions, but who had ever before so turned the tables and become himself, in the apparitional world, an incalculable terror?
He summoned them before him in apparitional procession: Bernard Higginbotham arm in arm with Mr.
The emptiness of the space which he had expected to see occupied, was appalling, and he shrank down, sick and dizzy with the baffling apparitional past that thus vexed his consciousness.
How many dawns, chill from his rippling rest The seagull's wings shall dip and pivot him, Shedding white rings of tumult, building high Over the chained bay waters Liberty--Then, with inviolate curve, forsake our eyes As apparitional as sails that cross Some page of figures to be filed away;--Till elevators drop us from our day.
The intimacy the child shared with his father at Governor's Bay is betrayed by the physical absence of both father and child upon the former child's return to the place itself; their historical presence is apparitional.
Contra the amnesiac tendencies of much Pop, these apparitional vistas intimate the abiding presence of history, however ruinous and partial.
Contrarily, the youth who would embrace trees and walls, as recorded in the Fenwick Notes, out of a fear that self and world can become apparitional and obscure, is discernible in the early and adolescent Wordsworth.
Eriugena has untied the perception of existentiality from the cognitive inner specificity of me because all reality is determined, as apparitional and theophanic and as derived from the God himself, to include part of God's essential incomprehensibility.
Whatever it was in the apparitional light held us to the road.
This Muse is the apparitional white woman whom he had all along credited with having been the source of his most positive and transforming ideas and intuitions, the origin of his growing sense that he is far greater in human worth than the internalized image of a sub-human helot implanted in his psyche by the material conditions of his existence and virulently racist colonialist ideology.
You want to walk lost down apparitional streets of people in camps, pushing your way through 90[degrees] windstorms with a towel turbaned around your head, looking for the girl with the body paint and bird wings who called herself Octodaughter and somehow gave you a warm cookie at 4 a.