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1. The spirit of a dead person, especially one that is believed to appear to the living in bodily form or to haunt specific locations.
2. A person's spirit or soul: was sick for months and finally gave up the ghost.
3. A returning or haunting memory or image.
a. A slight or faint trace: just a ghost of a smile.
b. The tiniest bit: not a ghost of a chance.
5. A faint, unwanted image, as:
a. An unwanted image on a television or radar screen caused by reflected waves.
b. A displaced image in a photograph caused by the optical system of the camera.
c. An unwanted spectral line caused by imperfections in a diffraction grating.
d. A displaced image in a mirror caused by reflection from the front of the glass.
6. Informal A ghostwriter.
a. A nonexistent publication listed in bibliographies.
b. A fictitious employee or business.
8. Physiology A red blood cell having no hemoglobin.
v. ghost·ed, ghost·ing, ghosts
v. intr.
1. Informal To engage in ghostwriting.
2. To move noiselessly like a ghost: "Two young deer ghosted out of the woods" (Nancy M. Debevoise).
3. Informal To cut off all communication with someone, especially a romantic or sexual partner, without providing an explanation: ghosted on him after two dates.
v. tr.
1. To haunt.
2. Informal To ghostwrite: was hired to ghost the memoirs of a famous executive.
3. Informal To cut off all communication with (someone), especially a romantic or sexual partner, without providing an explanation: "In some point in nearly every young millennial's life, they will be ghosted. And not by sad dead bodies from the graveyard, but by idiot living ones from the Internet" (Heather Dockray).

[Middle English gost, from Old English gāst, breath, spirit.]

ghost′y adj.


a supposedly ghostly counterpart or double of a living person.
a belief in ghosts.
a phantom or apparition.
a vision or other perception of something that has no physical or objective reality, especially in the sense of a ghost or other supernatural apparition. Also phantasma. See also images; philosophy.
an abnormal fear of ghosts.
fortunetelling through communication with the spirits of the dead. — sciomantic, adj.
a religion in which ghosts are worshiped instead of gods.
the study of ghosts, phantoms, or apparitions. Also called phantasmology, spookology.spectrological, adj.
an abnormal fear of specters or phantoms.
1. the condition or quality of existing outside the known experience of man or caused by forces beyond those of nature.
2. belief in supernatural events or forces. Also supranaturalism.supernaturalist, n., adj.supernatural, supernaturalistic, adj.
supernaturalism. — supranaturalist, n., adj.supranatural, supranaturalistic, adj.
References in classic literature ?
She shuddered when she heard little Jammes speak of the ghost, called her a "silly little fool" and then, as she was the first to believe in ghosts in general, and the Opera ghost in particular, at once asked for details:
You meet so many men in dress-clothes at the Opera who are not ghosts.
If I hear another word spoken about ghosts in this school, it will be the worse for all of you.
No, no, sir, ghosts don't appear in such dresses as that, neither.
When I had prayed sufficiently to the dead, I cut the throats of the two sheep and let the blood run into the trench, whereon the ghosts came trooping up from Erebus--brides, {89} young bachelors, old men worn out with toil, maids who had been crossed in love, and brave men who had been killed in battle, with their armour still smirched with blood; they came from every quarter and flitted round the trench with a strange kind of screaming sound that made me turn pale with fear.
Scrooge then remembered to have heard that ghosts in haunted houses were described as dragging chains.
If you had had a 'Shilling Dreadful' in your hand," she proceeded, "something about Ghosts or Dynamite or Midnight Murder--one could understand it: those things aren't worth the shilling, unless they give one a Nightmare.
There are other ghosts than the Cock-Lane one, and far deeper men than Doctor Johnson who believe in them.
Do you know, I have been trysting here with ghosts.
If the ghosts kill me, you will see me no more, or the club either; but if I live I will bring you back the bones, or, if I do not find them, I will render the Watcher into your hands again.
Strange to say, in spite of the general foreboding, nothing of especial moment happened on the Ghost.
We was thinking of that awful thing laying yonder in the sycamores, and it seemed like being that close to a ghost, and it give me the cold shudders.