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Definition of ghostly

Examples of ghostly in a sentence.

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'ghostly.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Cite this entry.

“Ghostly.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary , Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ghostly. Accessed 4 Jan. 2024.

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Meaning of ghostly in English

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  • ashen-faced
  • colourlessly
  • discoloration

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of, characteristic of, or resembling a ghost ; phantasmal; spectral.

Literary . spiritual .

Origin of ghostly

Other words for ghostly, other words from ghostly.

  • ghost·li·ness, noun
  • un·ghost·ly, adjective

Words Nearby ghostly

  • ghost fishing
  • ghost kitchen
  • ghost prisoner
  • ghost runner

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use ghostly in a sentence

The off-register gambit, a favorite of Saybolt’s, renders the image ghostly while emphasizing its mechanical origins.

The protagonist is shown summoning a ghostly horse and fighting against mounted enemies.

Differentiated mostly by their relative shininess, the two media juxtapose in silhouettes of ghostly beauty.

All the while, even after preservationists deemed it a landmark, Crummell remained a ghostly , decaying presence.

Instead, I was treated to just the ghostly haze, which dampened sounds to create a meditative atmosphere.

A storage building became a ghostly concrete frame lit bright orange.

One month after the operation, Holm arrived in a ghostly Stanleyville posing as a State Department representative.

The Dakota, a co-op residence on the Upper West Side, is historically known for its ghostly figures.

Meanwhile, Only Lovers Left Alive uses the city as a character as undead and ghostly as its human leads.

To explain this ghostly occurrence, we get a dollop of gossip concerning the recent death of a hated bishop.

A ghostly mate would be no very pleasant bridegroom for a young lady.

These had a ghostly effect on Yung Pak, and made him cling closely to the side of his tutor.

We visited it in the fading twilight, and a lonelier, more ghostly place it would be hard to imagine.

Startled gasps could be heard from the others in the room as they stared at that ghostly face.

The Japanese matted floor, even in darkness, gives out a sort of ghostly , phosphorescent glow.

British Dictionary definitions for ghostly

/ ( ˈɡəʊstlɪ ) /

of or resembling a ghost; spectral : a ghostly face appeared at the window

suggesting the presence of ghosts; eerie

archaic of or relating to the soul or spirit

Derived forms of ghostly

  • ghostliness , noun

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

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Definition of ghostly adjective from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

  • a ghostly figure
  • ghostly footsteps
  • the ghostly churchyard
  • The airfield was bathed in the ghostly glow of a searchlight.

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Look up any word in the dictionary offline, anytime, anywhere with the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary app.

ghostly love definition

Definition of 'ghostly'

IPA Pronunciation Guide

ghostly in American English

Ghostly in british english, examples of 'ghostly' in a sentence ghostly, related word partners ghostly, trends of ghostly.

View usage over: Since Exist Last 10 years Last 50 years Last 100 years Last 300 years

In other languages ghostly

  • American English : ghostly / ˈgoʊstli /
  • Brazilian Portuguese : fantasmal
  • Chinese : 怪异得令人可怕的
  • European Spanish : fantasmal
  • French : fantomatique
  • German : gespenstisch
  • Italian : spettrale
  • Japanese : 非現実的な
  • Korean : 유령 같은
  • European Portuguese : fantasmal
  • Spanish : fantasmal
  • Thai : เหมือนผี

Browse alphabetically ghostly

  • ghostly apparition
  • ghostly figure
  • ghostly image
  • All ENGLISH words that begin with 'G'

Related terms of ghostly

  • ghostly presence

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  1. Ghostly Definition & Meaning - Merriam-Webster

    1 : of or relating to the soul : spiritual 2 : of, relating to, or having the characteristics of a ghost : spectral ghostliness noun ghostly adverb Examples of ghostly in a Sentence A ghostly figure appears in the house at night.

  2. GHOSTLY | definition in the Cambridge English Dictionary

    adjective us / ˈɡoʊst.li / uk / ˈɡəʊst.li / Add to word list pale and transparent in a way that does not seem real, like a ghost: a ghostly figure / apparition not loud or clear: a ghostly voice / echo SMART Vocabulary: related words and phrases Colorless or causing color to fade ashen-faced bleach colorless colorlessly discolor discoloration drab

  3. GHOSTLY | English meaning - Cambridge Dictionary

    GHOSTLY definition: 1. pale and transparent in a way that does not seem real, like a ghost: 2. not loud or clear: 3…. Learn more.

  4. GHOSTLY definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary

    of or relating to the soul or spirit Collins English Dictionary. Copyright © HarperCollins Publishers Derived forms ghostliness (ˈghostliness) noun Word Frequency ghostly in American English (ˈgoʊstli ) adjective Word forms: ˈghostlier or ˈghostliest 1. of, like, or characteristic of a ghost; spectral 2.

  5. GHOSTLY Definition & Usage Examples | Dictionary.com

    a general feeling or sensation that someone gets or has about something. TAKE THE QUIZ TO FIND OUT Origin of ghostly 1 before 900; Middle English; Old English gāstlīc. See ghost, -ly Other words for ghostly 1 wraithlike, phantom, ghostlike, unearthly See synonyms for ghostly on Thesaurus.com Other words from ghostly ghost·li·ness, noun

  6. Ghostly - definition of ghostly by The Free Dictionary

    adj, -lier or -liest 1. of or resembling a ghost; spectral: a ghostly face appeared at the window. 2. suggesting the presence of ghosts; eerie 3. archaic of or relating to the soul or spirit ˈghostliness n

  7. ghostly adjective - Definition, pictures, pronunciation and ...

    adjective /ˈɡəʊstli/ /ˈɡəʊstli/ (comparative ghostlier, superlative ghostliest) looking or sounding like a ghost; full of ghosts a ghostly figure ghostly footsteps the ghostly churchyard The airfield was bathed in the ghostly glow of a searchlight. Oxford Collocations Dictionary Word Origin Questions about grammar and vocabulary?

  8. GHOSTLY definition in American English | Collins English ...

    ghostly in British English. (ˈɡəʊstlɪ ) adjective Word forms: -lier or -liest. 1. of or resembling a ghost; spectral. a ghostly face appeared at the window. 2. suggesting the presence of ghosts; eerie. 3. archaic.