Meaning of GHOST in English

I. ˈgōst noun

( -s )

Usage: often attributive

Etymology: Middle English gost, gast, from Old English gāst; akin to Old Saxon gēst spirit, Old High German geist spirit, Old Norse geiska fullr full of terror, Gothic us gaisjan to frighten, Sanskrit heḍa anger


a. : the life principle or vital spark : the soul regarded as the seat of life or intelligence — now used chiefly in the phrase to give up the ghost

b. archaic : the spirit of man as distinguished from the body : the conscious being

knowledge of what the world ought to be to us who are body and ghost together — Nathaniel Fairfax


a. : a disembodied soul ; especially : the soul of a dead person believed to be an inhabitant of the unseen world or to appear to the living in bodily likeness

believe in the survival of the soul after death in the form of a ghost — Edward Sapir

b. : apparition , specter

3. : spirit , demon

that affable familiar ghost which nightly gulls him with intelligence — Shakespeare

especially : a harmful or malevolent disembodied human spirit regarded as a power to be propitiated or averted by religious or magical rites

4. obsolete : person

no knight so rude … as to do outrage to a sleeping ghost — Edmund Spenser

5. obsolete : corpse

a timely-parted ghost of ashy semblance, meager, pale, and bloodless — Shakespeare

6. : a mark or visible sign left by something dead, lost, or no longer present : remains

the ghost of grandeur that lingers between the walls of abandoned haciendas — Mary Austin


a. : a faint shadowy outline or semblance : trace

would search the white skies for the ghost of a cloud — Vicki Baum

b. : the least bit : iota , particle — usually used with preceding negative

hadn't … the ghost of a prospect of raising the money — Christopher Isherwood

didn't have a ghost of a chance of defending himself against … this master killer — Frank Dufresne

8. : a false image : reflection:

a. or ghost image : an unwanted or false image on a photographic negative caused by internal reflections in the camera lens

b. : a faint spurious line appearing in a grating spectrum as a result of a defect in the ruling of the grating

c. or ghost image : a faint double image appearing on a television screen as a result of the reflection of signals from external objects (as buildings) before they reach the receiving antenna

9. : one who does literary or artistic work for and in the name of another

it is his lot to serve as ghost for successful comic-strip artists — John McCarten

specifically : ghost-writer

10. : a tissue, cell, or other structure that does not stain normally because of degenerative changes ; specifically : a red blood cell that has lost its hemoglobin

11. : a light band that alternates with a dark one or runs through a dark mass, appears on a tooled or polished surface of steel, and indicates a zone of material made harder by a difference in composition

12. ghosts plural but singular in construction

[so called from the fact that the eliminated person is called a ghost]

: a word game in which a player names a letter of the alphabet to which each succeeding player adds a letter that makes part of but does not complete a word, a player being eliminated from the game usually after five instances in which he has either completed a word or been guilty of adding a letter that does not contribute to making a word

13. : phantom

14. : an outline of a former crystal shape or rock structure bounded by inclusions that make it visible and outlined by bubbles or foreign substances

II. verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

transitive verb

1. : to haunt like a ghost

ask not … what madness ghosts this old man — Robert Burton

2. : to write for and in the name of another

the common report that he ghosted the whole document — Bruce Bliven b. 1889

intransitive verb


a. : to move silently like a ghost

the waiter ghosted up to the table — Hugh MacLennan

b. : to sail quietly with or as if with no apparent wind

all day the fleet ghosted westward in light southerly airs — S.E.Morison

2. : to engage in writing for and in the name of another

you have no qualms about ghosting — E.C.Marston

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.