• (British) IPA: /ɡəʊst/
  • (America) IPA: /ɡoʊst/
  • (India) IPA: /ɡoːst/, [ɡoːst], [ɡʱoːst]

ghost (plural ghosts)

  1. (dated) The spirit; the soul of man.
    • Then gives her grieved ghost thus to lament.
  2. The disembodied soul; the soul or spirit of a deceased person; a spirit appearing after death
    Everyone believed that the ghost of an old lady haunted the crypt.
    • 1667, John Dryden, Annus Mirabilis
      The mighty ghosts of our great Harries rose.
    • 1992, Rudolf M[athias] Schuster, The Hepaticae and Anthocerotae of North America: East of the Hundredth Meridian, volume V, New York, N.Y.: Columbia University Press, →ISBN, page vii:
      Hepaticology, outside the temperate parts of the Northern Hemisphere, still lies deep in the shadow cast by that ultimate "closet taxonomist," Franz Stephani—a ghost whose shadow falls over us all.
  3. Any faint shadowy semblance; an unsubstantial image
    not a ghost of a chance; the ghost of an idea
  4. A false image formed in a telescope, camera, or other optical device by reflection from the surfaces of one or more lenses.
  5. An unwanted image similar to and overlapping or adjacent to the main one on a television screen, caused by the transmitted image being received both directly and via reflection.
  6. A ghostwriter.
  7. (Internet) An unresponsive user on IRC, resulting from the user's client disconnecting without notifying the server.
  8. (computing) An image of a file or hard disk.
  9. (theatre) An understudy.
  10. (espionage) A covert (and deniable) agent.
  11. The faint image that remains after an attempt to remove graffiti.
  12. (video games) An opponent in a racing game that follows a previously recorded route, allowing players to compete against previous best times.
  13. A dead person whose identity is stolen by another. See ghosting.
  14. (attributive, in names of species) White or pale.
    ghost slug; ghostberry; ghostflower; ghost crab; ghost bat
  15. (attributive, in names of species) Transparent or translucent.
    ghost ant; ghost catfish; ghost nipper; ghost nudibranch
  16. (attributive) Abandoned.
    ghost town; ghost net; ghost ramp; ghost ship
  17. (attributive) Remnant; the remains of a(n).
    ghost cell; ghost crater; ghost image
  18. (attributive) Perceived or listed but not real.
    ghost pain; ghost cellphone vibration; ghost island; ghost voter
  19. (attributive) Of cryptid, supernatural or extraterrestrial nature.
    ghost rocket; ghost deer; ghost cat
  20. (attributive) Substitute.
    ghost writer; ghost band; ghost singer
Synonyms Translations Translations Translations Verb

ghost (ghosts, present participle ghosting; past and past participle ghosted)

  1. (obsolete, transitive) To haunt; to appear to in the form of an apparition.
    • 1606, William Shakespeare, Antony and Cleopatra, Act II, sc. 6, l. 1221
      since Julius Caesar, / Who at Philippi the good Brutus ghosted
  2. (obsolete) To die; to expire.
  3. (ambitransitive) To ghostwrite.
  4. (nautical) To sail seemingly without wind.
  5. (computing) To copy a file or hard drive image.
  6. (GUI) To gray out (a visual item) to indicate that it is unavailable.
    • 1991, Amiga User Interface Style Guide (page 76)
      Whenever a menu or menu item is inappropriate or unavailable for selection, it should be ghosted. Never allow the user to select something that does nothing in response.
  7. (internet, transitive) To forcibly disconnect an IRC user who is using one's reserved nickname.
    • 2001, "Luke", to leave (vb.): Hurg [OT] (on newsgroup
      I'm so untechnical that I once ghosted a registered IRC nick and then tried to identify myself to NickServ with the valid password before actually changing my nick to the aforementioned moniker.
  8. To appear without warning; to move quickly and quietly; to slip.
  9. To kill.
  10. (slang) To break up with someone without warning or explanation; to perform an act of ghosting.

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