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the soul of a dead person, a disembodied spirit imagined, usually as a vague, shadowy or evanescent form, as wandering among or haunting living persons.

a mere shadow or semblance; a trace: He's a ghost of his former self.

a remote possibility: He hasn't a ghost of a chance.

( sometimes initial capital letter ) a spiritual being.

the principle of life; soul ; spirit .

Informal . ghostwriter .

a secondary image, especially one appearing on a television screen as a white shadow, caused by poor or double reception or by a defect in the receiver.

Also called ghost im·age [ gohst -im-ij] /ˈgoʊst ˌɪm ɪdʒ/ . Photography . a faint secondary or out-of-focus image in a photographic print or negative resulting from reflections within the camera lens.

an oral word game in which each player in rotation adds a letter to those supplied by preceding players, the object being to avoid ending a word.

Optics . a series of false spectral lines produced by a diffraction grating with unevenly spaced lines.

Metalworking . a streak appearing on a freshly machined piece of steel containing impurities.

a red blood cell having no hemoglobin.

a fictitious employee, business, etc., fabricated especially for the purpose of manipulating funds or avoiding taxes: Investigation showed a payroll full of ghosts.

to ghostwrite (a book, speech, etc.).

Engraving . to lighten the background of (a photograph) before engraving.

to suddenly end all contact with (a person) without explanation, especially in a romantic relationship: The guy I’ve been dating ghosted me.

to leave (a social event or gathering) suddenly without saying goodbye: My friend ghosted my birthday party.

Digital Technology . to remove (comments, threads, or other digital content) from a website or online forum without informing the poster, keeping them hidden from the public but still visible to the poster.

to ghostwrite.

to go about or move like a ghost.

(of a sailing vessel) to move when there is no perceptible wind.

to pay people for work not performed, especially as a way of manipulating funds.

to suddenly end all contact with a person without explanation, especially in a romantic relationship: They dated for a month and then she ghosted.

to leave a social event or gathering suddenly without saying goodbye: I'm getting tired so I think I might just ghost.

Digital Technology . to remove comments, threads, or other digital content from a website or online forum without informing the poster, keeping them hidden from the public but still visible to the poster.

fabricated for purposes of deception or fraud: We were making contributions to a ghost company.

Idioms about ghost

give up the ghost ,

to cease to function or exist.

Origin of ghost

Synonym study for ghost, other words for ghost, other words from ghost.

  • ghost·i·ly, adverb
  • ghost·like, adjective
  • de·ghost, verb (used with object)
  • un·ghost·like, adjective

Words Nearby ghost

  • Ghiordes knot
  • Ghirlandaio
  • ghost consultant
  • ghost dance

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

How to use ghost in a sentence

The expansion of ghost kitchens was well underway before the pandemic.

The spread of third-party delivery apps and ghost kitchens means that many customers largely interact with restaurants through apps, not the restaurants directly.

New “ ghost kitchens,” or delivery-only restaurants capitalizing on the rise of Grubhub and UberEats, popped up, many specializing in wings.

Last year police in New York state arrested an Army drone operator and alleged Boogaloo Boi on charges that he owned an illegal ghost gun.

Group Nine has been thinking about expanding further in this direction by leveraging the ghost kitchen it launched through Thrillist back in December.

The well, ghost or no ghost , is certainly a piece of history with a bold presence.

Now, she says, her coworkers are actively pranking each other and blaming it on the ghost .

First, the ghost of his departed partner, Jacob Marley, comes calling, his face emerging from the doorknob.

As Monday turned to Tuesday morning, five hostages had escaped and the Central Business District had turned into a ghost town.

The ghost writer in question is assumed to be one Siobhan Curham—an established author of both YA and adult fiction.

T least, thet's all I think 't wuz; though thar wuz those thet said 't wuz Claiborne's ghost .

Meanwhile Fleurette had her nourishing food, and grew more like the ghost of a lily every day.

Our poor planet will be but a silent ghost whirling on its dark path in the starlight.

For a moment there was no consciousness in their gaze; then a whimsical ghost of a smile crept about his mouth.

Now it will be as well here to inquire what good has ever resulted from this belief in what is commonly understood to be a ghost ?

British Dictionary definitions for ghost

/ ( ɡəʊst ) /

the disembodied spirit of a dead person, supposed to haunt the living as a pale or shadowy vision; phantom : Related adjective: spectral

a haunting memory : the ghost of his former life rose up before him

a faint trace or possibility of something; glimmer : a ghost of a smile

the spirit; soul (archaic, except in the phrase the Holy Ghost )

a faint secondary image produced by an optical system

a similar image on a television screen, formed by reflection of the transmitting waves or by a defect in the receiver

See ghost word

Also called: ghost edition an entry recorded in a bibliography of which no actual proof exists

Another name for ghostwriter : See ghostwrite

(modifier) falsely recorded as doing a particular job or fulfilling a particular function in order that some benefit, esp money, may be obtained : a ghost worker

  • give up the ghost

(of a machine) to stop working

See ghostwrite

(tr) to haunt

(intr) to move effortlessly and smoothly, esp unnoticed : he ghosted into the penalty area

Derived forms of ghost

  • ghostlike , adjective

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with ghost

In addition to the idiom beginning with ghost

  • Chinaman's (ghost of a) chance

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

Cambridge Dictionary

  • Cambridge Dictionary +Plus

Meaning of ghost in English

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ghost noun ( SPIRIT )

  • A headless ghost walks the castle at night - or so the story goes.
  • According to tradition , a headless ghost walks through the corridors of the house at night .
  • The Society for Psychical Research is investigating reports of a ghost at the old vicarage .
  • Have you ever seen a ghost?
  • There's no such thing as ghosts.
  • astral plane
  • astral projection
  • incorporeal
  • necromancer
  • reincarnation

ghost noun ( MEMORY )

  • abiding memory
  • associative memory
  • at/in the back of your mind idiom
  • clear memory
  • confabulation
  • have a memory like an elephant idiom
  • learn something by rote idiom
  • live (on) in the memory idiom
  • long memory
  • recollection
  • rediscovery
  • reminiscence
  • short-term memory

ghost verb ( WRITE )

  • Around 80 percent of celebrity books are ghosted .
  • Tony is ghosting the memoirs of Eddie, an ex-con who went to prison for his part in a bullion robbery .
  • He is a freelance writer who is ghosting an article for a corporate executive .
  • bang something out
  • bash something out
  • borrow something from something
  • re-registration
  • readability
  • reformulate

ghost verb ( END COMMUNICATION )

  • She was furious about being ghosted by Dan.
  • If you want to finish with a boyfriend , tell him, don't just ghost.
  • He ghosted his girlfriend and then she became his boss .
  • affiliation order
  • break something up
  • break up with someone
  • child support
  • give someone the elbow idiom
  • give someone the heave-ho idiom
  • give someone the push idiom
  • go off with someone
  • post-divorce
  • run out on someone/something

You can also find related words, phrases, and synonyms in the topics:

ghost verb ( MOVE )

  • Sarah suddenly ghosted out from behind the shed .
  • Three youths ghosted out from a narrow alleyway a short distance ahead of her.
  • Several black shapes were ghosting swiftly over the grass .
  • ballistically
  • make for somewhere/something
  • make towards something/someone

ghost | American Dictionary

Translations of ghost.

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Word of the Day

a period of time during which something is in liquid

Juddering, quivering and wobbling: more verbs to describe movement

Juddering, quivering and wobbling: more verbs to describe movement

define ghost line

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  • ghost (SPIRIT)
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Definition of ghost noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

  • Do you believe in ghosts (= believe that they exist) ?
  • ghost of somebody The ghost of her father had come back to haunt her.
  • He looked as if he had seen a ghost (= looked very frightened)
  • The ghost hunters have so far found nothing.
  • A priest was called in to exorcize the ghost.
  • He looked as pale as a ghost as he climbed out of the wrecked car.
  • The ghost of a hanged man is said to haunt the house.
  • haunt something
  • as pale as a ghost
  • as white as a ghost

Want to learn more?

Find out which words work together and produce more natural-sounding English with the Oxford Collocations Dictionary app. Try it for free as part of the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary app.

define ghost line

 Verywell / Catherine Song

  • Increased Use
  • Why It Happens
  • How to Cope
  • Why You Shouldn't Ghost

Alternatives to Ghosting Someone

  • Is It Ever OK?

Ghosting is a relatively new colloquial dating term that refers to abruptly cutting off contact with someone without giving that person any warning or explanation for doing so.

Even when the person being ghosted reaches out to re-initiate contact or gain closure, they’re met with silence. As you can see, it’s called ghosting because it involves someone essentially “vanishing” into thin air as if they were a ghost.

The term is generally used in reference to a romantic relationship, but it can technically refer to any scenario where contact unexpectedly ceases, including friendships and family relationships.

Signs of Ghosting

Ghosting is often obvious, but it can also be a gradual process. The other person might start by 'soft ghosting,' where they progressively minimize contact over a period of time. Some early signs that someone might be ghosting you include:

  • They regularly bail out on plans to get together
  • They struggle to make commitments
  • They don't like to share personal information
  • They don't want you to meet their friends or family
  • They disappear from social media
  • They rarely respond to your texts or calls
  • Your conversations with them lack depth, and they seem disinterested

If you have made repeated efforts to contact someone and they won't respond, it is a strong indicator that you've been ghosted.

Ghosting can also occur on social media. It involves cutting off all social media contact with another person without explanation. The other person may unfriend, unfollow, or even block you on all social media platforms. They may even go so far as to deactivate or delete their social accounts to prevent all contact.

The History of Ghosting

The term "ghosting" became mainstream about seven years ago alongside the surge in online dating ; it became an official entry in the Merriam-Webster dictionary in 2017 . Interestingly, though, the term was actually used as far back as the 1990s. Some pop culture writers and scholars have even used the term to describe ghostwriting in hip-hop music.  

Bree Jenkins, LMFT

The word ‘ghosting’ gained popularity long before [2017] via ‘90s hip-hop, often in the sense of escaping.

Though a new term, the act of ghosting existed well before the digital age. “I think references of ‘going for a loaf of bread and never coming back’ are examples of ghosting," says Bree Jenkins, LMFT , a dating coach in Los Angeles, Calif. "Ghosting used to be leaving a person and moving away or not leaving [them with] your contact information—its earlier origins are even the simple act of leaving a party or social gathering without notice and goodbyes.” 

How the Term Became Popular

So why did the term “ghosting” become mainstream just within the last decade? The argument is that online dating has simply made it way easier to ghost people.

With the higher frequency of ghosting instances, and with more people who could relate/understand being ghosted or doing the ghosting, the term was widely adopted.

Why Do Some People Choose to Ghost?

Ghosting is often seen as an immature or passive-aggressive way to end a relationship. In other instances, it may even be a form of emotional abuse.

There are two primary reasons why a person ghosts another, and often it's a combination of the two.

It's the Easy Route

The first is that some find it's way easier (in the short-term, anyway) to ghost someone than to have an awkward, uncomfortable heart-to-heart about why you’re not interested in maintaining contact.

The person doing the ghosting often wants to avoid confrontation or dealing with someone else’s hurt feelings, so they simply cease all communication and hope the hint is delivered.

Option Overload and Fatigue

“With internet dating comes what may seem like infinite choices as opposed to walking into a bar and having limited options," explains Margaret Seide, MD , a board-certified psychiatrist based in New York City.

"Because there are so many choices, online daters are quick to have the ‘OK, next’ or the ‘Yeah, but what else?’ mindset," says Seide. "Sometimes the person is nice enough, but is juggling a few other people and that person just didn’t make the cut.”

There are also other reasons why people ghost, including being fearful of the other person's reaction to rejection.

How Ghosting Can Impact the Ghosted

As you can imagine (or know from personal experience), ghosting can have a real psychological impact on the person who’s being ghosted.

It’s almost like sudden loss [or] grief, especially the first time you’ve ever been ghosted. You are shocked, and you’re in denial, thinking things such as ‘maybe they didn’t see my text.’ Then you feel anger.

Jenkins adds, “Next, the feelings of depression [can] kick in along with feelings of poor self-esteem as you mentally reexamine your relationship and last conversation for possible warning signs."

Ghosting is inherently ambiguous because there is a lack of explanation for why the relationship ended. For the person who has been ghosted, it can lead to significant feelings of rejection, guilt, grief, and shame.

A person who has been ghosted may be left wondering what this type of behavior says about them, but it is important to remember that ghosting says more about the person who cuts off contact than the person who is ghosted.

Working Through Grief After Being Ghosted

The grief cycle may not run that exact course, but being ghosted often triggers a flood of ranging emotions. Thoughts of ‘Not only did the person not want to date me, but I wasn’t even deserving of an explanation’ can make someone feel dehumanized and devalued.

It’s often more painful when it’s a relationship that’s marinated a bit, but the ghosted person can also feel this way if it was a new connection. It can take some time to work through the pain, but with acceptance the person being ghosted can move on.

To gain closure in a situation where you feel you’ve been ghosted, Meide says it can help to send a message by saying something like, “Hey, I haven’t heard from you in a while. I’m not sure what happened, but I don’t want to continue pursuing this. My time is valuable and I don’t want to leave this door open. Best of luck with things.” While the ghoster may not respond, it can help provide closure.

How Ghosting Can Impact the Ghoster

Ghosting doesn't just impact the ghosted; it also is a detriment to the ghoster. The bottom line here is that ghosting is either a passive aggressive way to end a relationship, or it is the “easy way out.” Either way, it’s not doing the ghoster any favors in their ability to communicate with others.

“Ghosting doesn't take into account how you affect other people and it makes it easier for the person to dip out or disengage when things get uncomfortable. There’s no way to have a healthy, long-term relationship without being able to work through problems and use your communication skills,” says Jenkins.

Jenkins adds that ghosters create unhealthy problem-solving patterns for themselves, and that they also contribute to a larger pattern of societal flakiness that increases their chances of being ghosted as well.

Avoiding the easy route of ghosting someone will benefit both parties. Meide says that the best thing you can do when ending a relationship , however long or short, is to treat the other person as you’d like to be treated.

“I usually suggest two spoons of sugar with the medicine in the middle for delivery,” Meide says. “It can sound something like ‘Hey, you seem like a really great catch, but I don’t feel it’s working between us. I respect your time and just wanted to be honest. Warm regards and take care.’

"Or, ‘Hi—it’s been cool getting to know you, but I’ve decided to take a break from dating and don’t want to waste your time or be dishonest. Best of luck with everything.’"

These messages are short, sweet, honest, and end with an outro to signal that you don’t want to have a long and drawn out conversation. It’s possible that you may get a negative or hurt reaction from the other person, but it’s far better to exit the relationship after giving an explanation than to ghost completely.

Is Ghosting Someone Ever OK?

In many cases, ghosting is considered a rude route to take when trying not to talk to someone anymore, or especially when ending a more serious or established relationship. However, there are most definitely exceptions—when further communication can be a bad thing or even potentially unsafe.

Situations in which ghosting can make sense is if you find out the person is married or in a relationship , participating in illegal or unsavory behaviors, or if they display toxic traits.   In such cases, you do not owe that person an explanation for abruptly ending the relationship. 

If you are uncomfortable or feel threatened by someone in any way, remember it's best to follow your gut instinct. You may simply have a bad feeling. In cases like this, you don't need to prove that this person "deserved" to be ghosted—ghosting might be a useful mode of self-protection and peace of mind.

If you feel your best interest would be to completely cut off contact with the person in question, don't let your feelings of guilt keep you from doing what's right for you and what will ultimately keep you safe.

A Word From Verywell

Ghosting has become more commonplace in the digital age, but just because something is easy or common doesn’t mean it’s always the ideal route to take. Consider how ghosting might impact both parties and do your best to treat others with kindness and honesty. If you’re the person who’s been ghosted, it’s OK to feel confused, sad, and angry. Sending a quick note to end the relationship yourself can help you regain a sense of power and confidence in yourself and give you closure.

However, if you feel threatened or deeply uncomfortable by someone, you don't owe them anything. Sometimes ghosting, when used thoughtfully, can be a healthy mode of self-protection and removing yourself from a potentially bad situation.

Navarro R, Larrañaga E, Yubero S, Víllora B. Psychological Correlates of Ghosting and Breadcrumbing Experiences: A Preliminary Study among Adults . Int J Environ Res Public Health . 2020;17(3):1116. doi:10.3390/ijerph17031116

Anderson HE. No Bitin’ Allowed: A Hip-Hop Copying Paradigm for All of Us . 2011.

 Vilhauer J. When Is It OK to Ghost Someone ? Psychology Today . 2019.

By Wendy Rose Gould Wendy Rose Gould is a lifestyle reporter with over a decade of experience covering health and wellness topics.

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ghost noun & adjective

  • Show all quotations

In other dictionaries

  • gāst, gǣst in Dictionary of Old English
  • gōst, n. in Middle English Dictionary

What does the word ghost mean?

There are 33 meanings listed in OED's entry for the word ghost , eight of which are labelled obsolete. See ‘Meaning & use’ for definitions, usage, and quotation evidence.

ghost has developed meanings and uses in subjects including

How common is the word ghost ?

How is the word ghost pronounced, british english, u.s. english, where does the word ghost come from.

Earliest known use

Old English

The earliest known use of the word ghost is in the Old English period (pre-1150).

ghost is a word inherited from Germanic.

Nearby entries

  • ghillie, v. 1886–
  • ghillieing, n. 1877–
  • ghillie suit, n. 1980–
  • Ghilzai, n. 1826–
  • Ghiordes, n. 1900–
  • gho, n. 1980–
  • ghoema, n. 1934–
  • ghoen, n. 1913–
  • ghoonghat, n. 1902–
  • ghoont, n. a1613–
  • ghost, n. & adj. Old English–
  • ghost, v. a1616–
  • ghost account, n. 1933–
  • ghost band, n. 1962–
  • ghost bat, n. 1914–
  • ghost bike, n. 2004–
  • ghost bird, n. 1851–
  • ghostbuster, n. 1930–
  • ghostbusting, n. & adj. 1929–
  • ghost candle, n. 1885
  • ghost car, n. 1931–

Meaning & use

Neque enim est spiritus in ore ipsorum : ne ne soðlice is gast on muðe heora.
Þa æt nehstan wæs geþuht, þæt fram him eallinga se liflica gast ut eode, & se lichama þær wunode orsawle.
God sylf ȝyfæð alle monnum lif & gast .
Ha ȝeide to godd & walde aȝeouen hire gast in to his honden.
His gast bigan to quiken egain.
He gird to the ground & the gost past.
But when indeede she found his ghost was gone, then Sorrowe lost the witte of vtterance.
They suffer hunger, and cold, needs and necessities, the tormenting diseases, and anguishes of the body: and at last yield up the Ghost to Death it self.
I should have poured out tears of friendship at the footstones of his cross, while he was yielding up the ghost .
He gasped up the ghost .
He lay there for many minutes, and in one of those many minutes, his ghost left his body.
  • blood Old English– Blood regarded as the fluid which sustains life, lifeblood; (hence) the vital principle, that upon which life depends; (metonymically) life…
  • ghost Old English– The animating or vital principle in humans and animals; that which gives life to the body, in contrast to its purely material being; the life…
  • life Old English– In extended use: something which represents the cause or source of living or of vitality; a vivifying or animating principle; a person who or that…
  • life and soul Old English– life and soul . Cf. body , n. I.1b and heart and soul , n.
  • soul Old English–1697 The condition or attribute of life in humans or animals; animate existence; this viewed as a possession of which one is deprived by death. Obsolete .
  • spiritus Old English– The animating or vital principle in living things; spirit, soul, or life force.
  • quickship ?c1225 = quickness , n.
  • quickness c1230– The quality or fact of being alive or living; life, vitality, vital principle. Now literary .
  • breath a1300– The faculty or action of breathing; respiration. Hence: existence, life.
  • spirit a1325– The animating or vital principle in humans and animals; that which gives life to the body, in contrast to its purely material being; the life…
  • spark 1382– The vital or animating principle in man; a trace of life or vitality. Frequently in vital spark , spark of life .
  • nature c1385–1836 The power or force which is fundamental to the physical and mental functioning of a human being. Obsolete .
  • sparkle 1388– A vital or animating principle. rare .
  • liveliness a1398– Vivacity, animation; (also) †vitality ( obsolete ).
  • rational soul a1398– Of a person, a person's soul, mind, etc. Having the faculty of reasoning; endowed with reason. Esp. in rational being , rational creature , rational …
  • spiracle 1398–1654 Breath, spirit. Obsolete .
  • animal spirit ?a1425– Medicine and Physiology . The (supposed) agent responsible for sensation and movement, originating in the brain and passing to and from the periphery…
  • vital spirit c1450–1715 Maintaining, supporting, or sustaining life. vital spirit , vital spirits . Cf. spirit , n. VI.21. Obsolete .
  • soul of the world 1525– The animating principle of the world; = anima mundi , n. Cf. world-soul , n.
  • candle 1535–1768 figurative . The ‘light’ of life.
  • fire 1576– The animating or vital principle in living things; life force; vital spirit. Also in plural in same sense. Cf. spirit , n. I.i.1a.
  • three souls 1587– Applied to various divisions of the soul into three elements, esp. those distinguished in Platonic philosophy as rational, sensitive, and…
  • vitality ?1592– Vital force, power, or principle as possessed or manifested by living things (cf. vital , adj. A.I.1); the principle of life; animation.
  • candlelight 1596 figurative . ‘Light’ of life. Cf. candle , n. 3b. Obsolete .
  • substance 1605 The vital, principal, or most necessary part of something. Obsolete .
  • vivacity 1611–1747 Vital force or power; vitality. Obsolete .
  • animality 1615– The state or fact of being an animal; animal nature or life; vital power. Now rare .
  • vividity 1616 Living force, vitality. Obsolete . rare .
  • animals 1628–75 In plural , with the . Short for animal spirits : see animal spirit , n. Obsolete . rare .
  • life spring 1649– The spring or source of life; frequently in extended use.
  • archeus 1651– The immaterial principle supposed by the Paracelsians to produce and preside over the activities of the animal and vegetable economy; vital force…
  • vital 1670 The vital spirit or principle. Obsolete . rare .
  • spirituosity 1677 Animating force, energy, or spirit; vital nature or quality. Cf. spirituose , adj. Obsolete . rare .
  • springs of life 1681– figurative and in figurative contexts. springs of life : that which gives, motivates, or inspires liveliness or an enthusiasm for life.
  • microcosmetor 1684– In the terminology of J. Dolaeus: the (supposed) ruler or ruling principle of the animal spirits (and of the body as a whole), located in the brain.
  • vital force 1702– An immaterial force or principle viewed as present in and animating living things and sustaining their… In singular .
  • vital spark (also flame) 1704– vital spark (†also flame) . Cf. spark , n.¹ 3.
  • stamen 1718–25 The supposed germinal principle or impulse in which the future characteristics of any nascent existence are implicit.
  • vis vitae 1752– In special collocations with other Latin words. vis vitae , vital force.
  • prana 1785– Breathing, respiration; the breath as the sign of life; the life principle inhabiting all animate things. In meditation: a breath, a single…
  • Purusha 1785– Universal spirit, soul; spec. (in Sankhya philosophy) the animating principle which, with prakriti and guna, gives rise to the material, sentient…
  • jiva 1807– Life, the soul, the self; the vital principle.
  • vital force 1822– An immaterial force or principle viewed as present in and animating living things and sustaining their… In plural .
  • heartbeat 1828– figurative and in extended use. The life force, heart, or essence of something; an animating or vital energy. Cf. pulse , n.² 2.
  • world-soul 1828– The animating principle which informs the physical world; cf. soul of the world n. at soul , n. phrases P.5.
  • world-spirit 1828– (a) The spirit of worldliness; the spirit of the secular world; (b) the immanent principle underlying or shaping the world, esp. (in Hegelian…
  • life energy 1838– Vital energy; = life force , n.
  • life force 1848– (a) Vital energy; a force that gives something its vitality or strength; cf. élan vital , n. , will to live , n. ; (b) the spirit which animates living…
  • ghost soul 1869– (In the context of spiritualism and shamanism) the soul of a human or animal that animates the body but can exist and travel separately from it, as…
  • will to live 1871– (a) Philosophy the drive within a being to promote its own existence; a drive to produce and continue the species; (b) the enjoyment of living, the…
  • biogen 1882–93 A hypothetical vital principle animating living matter, conceived as a tenuous or immaterial substance of which the soul or spirit is composed…
  • ki 1893– Vital energy; circulating physical life-force, the existence and properties of which are fundamental to the theory and practice of many forms of…
  • mauri 1897– A life force or essence, an animating principle; the inherent quality of something.
  • élan vital 1907– In the philosophy of Henri Bergson (1859–1941), a vital impulse or life force, of which we are aware intuitively; spec. , an original impetus of…
  • orgone 1942– In the psychoanalytical theory of Wilhelm Reich (1897–1957): a supposed excess sexual energy or life force distributed throughout the universe which…
Witudlice se gast is hræd [Latin spiritus quidem promptus est ] & þæt flæsc ys untrum.
Ðe lichame winneð toȝenes þe gost .
I mene ðe stedefast, In riȝte leue mid fles & gast .
Quils his licam lai vnder stan, In gast es he til hell gan.
Deuoydit was his spritis and his gost .
Whose faire immortall beame, Hath darted fyre into my feeble ghost .
It will be a good step towards the knowledg of what the world ought to be to us, who are body and ghost together.
Descend, and touch..That in this blindness of the frame My Ghost may feel that thine is near.
Mr James accepted the invitation of the Indians to indulge in a sweat-bath (which they believe to be efficacious in purifying both body and ghost ).
There are many philosophical moments, particularly about the meaning of a person's ‘ ghost ’ or soul.
  • ghost Old English– The spiritual or abstract part of a person, as distinct from the physical part; a person's emotional, mental, and moral nature. Also: (esp. in a…
  • heart Old English– The seat or repository of a person's inmost thoughts, feelings, inclinations, etc.; a person's inmost being; the depths of the soul; the soul, the…
  • inner man Old English– inner man . The inner or spiritual part of man; the soul or mind. Also, inner woman .
  • mood Old English–1540 Mind, thought, will. Also: heart, feeling. Obsolete .
  • soul Old English– With possessive adjective or genitive.
  • womb Old English–1382 In biblical use: the stomach as the seat of the feelings and affections; the heart, the soul. Obsolete .
  • sprite 1340–1928 The non-physical aspect of a person, esp. considered as the seat of the character, emotions, will, etc. (cf. spirit , n. I.ii); (also) the soul of a…
  • inwit 1382–84 (Rendering Latin animus .) Heart, soul, mind; cheer, courage.
  • conscience c1384– A person's inmost thought or feelings; a person's mind or heart. Now rare .
  • spirit c1384– As a mass noun. Incorporeal, immaterial, or abstract being, as opposed to body or matter ; being or intelligence conceived as distinct from, or…
  • mind a1387 The faculty of memory. Obsolete .
  • spirt c1415–1782 Spirit or a spirit (in various senses of spirit , n. ).
  • esperite 1477–81 = spirit , n.
  • inward man 1526 Applied to the mind, thoughts, and mental faculties as located within the body; hence to mental or spiritual conditions and actions, as…
  • pneuma 1559– Spirit, soul, or life force; ( Theology ) the spirit of God; ( History of Science ) the invisible fluid or spirit permeating the body and forming the…
  • esprite 1591 Mind, spirit , n.
  • internal a1594– A faculty or quality of the mind or soul; (also) the inner nature or character of a person, etc.; the spirit.
  • interior 1600– Inner nature or being; inward mind; soul, character. Now chiefly with of .
  • entelechy 1603– In Aristotle's use: The realization or complete expression of some function; the condition in which a potentiality has become an actuality.
  • inside 1615– figurative . Inward nature, mind, thought, or meaning. (Sometimes with humorous suggestion of sense A.1b)
  • psyche 1648– The mind, soul, or spirit, as distinguished from the body.
  • sprit 1653– General attributive (in sense 3b), as sprit mast , sprit rig , etc. Cf. spritsail , n. 2a.
  • citta 1853– The mind as the seat of both thoughts and feelings; a person's cognitive and emotional faculties considered collectively. Cf. heart-mind , n. , bodh …
  • undersoul 1868– ( under- , prefix¹ affix 3a.ii.)
  • Geist 1871– Spirit; spirituality; intellectuality; intelligence.
  • heart-mind 1959– (Chiefly in Eastern religions) the mind as the seat of both thoughts and feelings; a person's cognitive and emotional faculties considered…
  • soul Old English– The seat of a person's emotions, feelings, or thoughts; the moral or emotional part of a person's nature; the central or inmost part of a person's…
  • stead c1200–1412 In various rare or occasional uses. Abiding-place (of hope, passions, etc.).
Þær bið ceole wen sliþre sæcce, gif hine sæ byreð on þa grimman tid, gæsta fulne.
Porfirie..com biuoren þe keiser & keneliche cleopede ‘..ich am her þu hatele gast mid alle mine hirdmen.’
Þe kyng..brohte from alemayne mony sori gost to store Wyndesore.
Aigolandus was a lewed goost , and lewedliche i-meved as þe devel hym tauȝte.
Graceles gostis , gylours of hem-self..sawe no manere siȝth saff solas and ese.
No knight so rude, I weene, As to doen outrage to a sleeping ghost .
  • ghost Old English–1590 A person; an individual. Cf. soul , n. III.9a, spirit , n. I.ii.4b. Obsolete .
  • had Old English–1225 Person (in various senses).
  • life Old English– In concrete applications relating to living beings. A person or other being endowed with life; a living being, a person. In later use Scottish ( Orkney …
  • lifesman Old English–1663 A living person.
  • man Old English–1597 A human being. As a designation applied equally to particular individuals of either sex. Obsolete .
  • son of man Old English– A male human being; (also) a mortal. Also in plural as sons of men . Now rare ( poetic or archaic in later use).
  • world-man Old English– A person of this world, a human being. In later quots.: a person regarded as a type of humankind; one whose interests transcend nationality.
  • wye Old English–1568 A noble, vigorous man; hence gen. , a man, a person.
  • wight c1175– A human being, man or woman, person. Now archaic or dialect (often implying some contempt or commiseration).
  • soul c1180– A person; an individual. In early use also: a living thing. Chiefly with preceding number or quantifier, as every .
  • earthman c1225–1848 A person who lives on earth as opposed to heaven. Obsolete .
  • food c1225–1607 A child regarded as one who is fed or nurtured. Also in wider sense: a person, a creature. Obsolete .
  • person ?c1225– An individual human being; a man, woman, or child.
  • creature c1300– A human being; a person, an individual. With modifying word indicating the type of person, and esp. expressing admiration, affection, compassion…
  • mother child c1300–1400 A person. Cf. mother's child , n. , mother's son , n.
  • body c1325– An individual; a person, typically one of a specified type or character. Now regional and colloquial .
  • beer a1382–1602 One who is or exists; sometimes spec. the Self-existent, the great I Am .
  • poppet c1390– A small or dainty person. In later use frequently as a term of endearment, esp. for a child or young woman: darling, pet. In early use occasionally derogatory , with overtones of senses 2 and 3: cf. puppet , n.
  • flipper a1400 A flippant and unreliable person.
  • wat 1399–1534 A person; esp. a great wat .
  • corse c1400–40 transferred . Person; a man's self. Obsolete .
  • mortal ?a1425– colloquial . A person. Frequently in negative contexts as an emphatic equivalent for ‘(any) one’, ‘(no) one’.
  • deadly ?c1450–1685 absol. A mortal; usually as plural . Mortals, human beings. Obsolete .
  • he c1450– A man (in the generic sense, or with maleness as a secondary consideration); a person, a personage. † any he : any person whatever ( obsolete ). Chiefly…
  • personage c1485– In weakened sense: a person; an individual (without the implication of status or importance).
  • wretch a1500– A person or little creature. (Used as a term of playful depreciation, or to denote slight commiseration or pity.)
  • human 1509– A human being, a person; a member of the species Homo sapiens or other (extinct) species of the genus Homo .
  • mundane 1509–56 A dweller in the earthly world. Obsolete .
  • member 1525– colloquial in later use. Short for ‘member of the community’; a person, a citizen.
  • worm a1556–1631 figurative . With qualification expressing tenderness, playfulness, or commiseration: A human being, ‘creature’. Obsolete . (In 16th cent. esp. loving …
  • homo 1561–1886 A human being; humankind. Obsolete .
  • piece of flesh 1567– A living person, a human being.
  • sconce 1567– A jocular term for: The head; esp. the crown or top of the head; hence, ‘head’, ability, sense, wit. †Also put for the person himself or herself.
  • squirrel ?1567– Applied to other animals or to persons, usually with contemptuous force.
  • fellow creature 1572– A person or thing regarded as sharing, with another specified person or thing, the fact of being a product of divine creation; (in a more secular…
  • Adamite 1581– A person who is descended from the biblical Adam, esp. a member of a specific branch of humanity derived from the biblical Adam rather than some…
  • bloat herring a1586– A smoked half-dried herring, cured by the process described in bloat , v.¹ ; a bloated herring, a bloater. Also a term of contempt for a human being. ?…
  • earthling 1593– An inhabitant of the earth as opposed to heaven.
  • mother's child 1594– A person (with general application). Chiefly in every mother's child . Cf. mother's son , n. 1.
  • stuff 1598– transferred and figurative in non-physical senses. Applied to a person: chiefly with qualifying word. See also hot stuff , n. & adj.
  • a piece of flesh 1600 That which has corporeal life. all flesh , †each flesh ( omnis caro , Vulgate = Hebraistic Greek πᾶσα σάρξ ): all animals; in narrower sense, all…
  • wagtail 1607–1783 transferred . A familiar or contemptuous epithet or form of address applied to a man or young woman. Obsolete .
  • bosom 1608–1756 Transferred to a person. (Cf. the similar use of hand , heart , head , etc. for their possessor.)
  • fragment 1609–16 Applied to a person as a term of contempt.
  • boots 1623– In various combinations (humorous or colloquial) = ‘Fellow, person’: as clumsy-boots , lazy-boots ; see also sly-boots , n. , smooth-boots , n.
  • tick 1631– Applied in contempt or insult to a person. Frequently as little tick . colloquial .
  • worthy 1649– Used humorously or ironically without the implication of distinction or eminence: a person, an individual.
  • earthlies 1651– In plural . Earthly beings; earthlings. rare .
  • snap 1653–1703 Applied to persons in somewhat slighting use, but without implication of bad qualities.
  • pippin 1665– A person. Originally derogatory : a young, foolish, or naive person. In later use chiefly as a term of endearment: a dear; a darling; a pet. Now rare .
  • being 1666– A living creature, either corporeal or spiritual; esp. a human being, a person (frequently used with either contemptuous or idealistic…
  • personal 1678 A person. Obsolete . rare .
  • personality 1678– A person, esp. one considered as the possessor of individual characteristics or qualities. Also: a being resembling or having the nature of a person…
  • sooterkin 1680– transferred . Chiefly applied to persons in allusive senses; sometimes = Dutchman. Also attributive .
  • party 1686– With a . A person. (In early quots., a particular use of sense II.6a.)
  • worldling 1687– An inhabitant of the world. Cf. earthling , n.² 1a.
  • human being 1694– A person, a member of the human race; a man, woman, or child.
  • water-wagtail 1694– figurative . A person likened to a water-wagtail, esp. in being flighty, appealing, or delicate. Cf. wagtail , n. 3. Now rare .
  • noddle 1705– colloquial . A person, spec. a foolish person. Now rare .
  • human subject 1712– The human being, regarded as a matter for study or observation.
  • piece of work 1713– colloquial (frequently derogatory ). A person, esp. one notable for having a strong (usually unpleasant) character. Usually with modifying word; cf…
  • terrestrial 1726 A terrestrial being; esp. a human being, a mortal; in quot. 1602, a man of secular estate, a layman.
  • anybody 1733– A person of any sort, an ordinary person; esp. (somewhat depreciative ) a person of no distinction or importance (opposed to somebody , n. 2a). Cf. n …
  • individual 1742– In contexts where a group is not specified or implied: a human being, a person. In later use also (somewhat colloquial and frequently depreciative …
  • character 1773– Without premodifying adjective or noun. A person, an individual, a personage. Now colloquial and frequently mildly derogatory .
  • cuss 1775– Originally U.S. Originally: a contemptible or worthless person, a good-for-nothing. Later more generally, usually with modifying word: a person of a…
  • jig 1781 Applied ludicrously to a horse, a person, etc. colloquial .
  • thingy 1787– Originally and chiefly Scottish . A little thing. Also more generally: a thing (usually with some suggestion of small size).
  • bod 1788– = body , n. in various senses; (esp.) a person. (In Scottish quots. 1788, 1813, perhaps shortened from bodach , n. )
  • curse 1790– = cuss , n. 2.
  • his nabs 1790– Only with possessive adjective, as his nabs , etc.: a self-important or superior person; (in weakened sense) a person. Now rare except in my nabs n. …
  • article 1796– colloquial (frequently derogatory ). A person. Formerly also ( U.S. ): †a slave regarded as an item of merchandise ( obsolete ).
  • Earthite 1814– A native or inhabitant of earth.
  • critter 1815– An animal, a beast; spec. an ox or cow; a horse; a chicken; a person (usually disparaging).
  • potato 1815– colloquial (chiefly humorous ). A person or character, esp. of a specified sort (usually with negative or derogatory connotations).
  • personeity c1816– That which constitutes a person or (esp.) God; personal or divine essence; (in weaker sense) personality. Also concrete : a being (esp. God) having…
  • nibs 1821– Originally: the person in question, the person being (implicitly) alluded to. Now chiefly: the person in authority, as an employer, superior, etc…
  • somebody 1826– Caribbean and U.S. regional ( southern ) in African American usage in the areas of South Carolina and Georgia where Gullah is spoken. Also s'mady , s …
  • tellurian 1828– An inhabitant of the planet earth; an earthling. Chiefly Science Fiction in later use.
  • case 1832– slang . In extended uses of senses 7, 8. Originally U.S. With preceding modifying word: used (usually disparagingly) to denote a person of the sort…
  • tangata 1840– In Māori parlance: a person, a human being.
  • prawn 1845– figurative and in extended use. A person likened to a prawn in appearance or character, esp. in being foolish or foolish-looking.
  • nigger 1848– This word is one of the most controversial in English, and is liable to be considered offensive or taboo in almost all contexts (even when used as a self-description). Now chiefly in African American usage: a person, a fellow (regardless of skin colour).
  • nut 1856– slang (chiefly U.S. ). Chiefly with modifying word: a person. Usually somewhat depreciative . Now rare .
  • Snooks 1860– A proper name or familiar appellation applied to a hypothetical person in a particular case (see quots.); (also) any individual person. Cf. Joe Bloggs …
  • mug 1865– A person, fellow, chap (now archaic ); spec. (a) a rough or ugly person; a criminal; (b) Criminals' slang a person who is not part of the…
  • outfit 1867– slang (chiefly U.S. ). An individual, a person. Now somewhat depreciative.
  • earth people 1868– People, regarded as the inhabitants of this world, as opposed to the spiritual or supernatural realm; human beings. Cf. earth , n.¹ II.9a.
  • to deliver the goods 1870– colloquial (originally U.S. ). to deliver (also come up with, produce) the goods : to do what one has promised to do or what is necessary to meet…
  • hairpin 1879– A jocular word for: a person. Also: a thin person. slang (originally U.S. ).
  • baby 1880– colloquial . Originally and chiefly U.S. A person (of either sex). this baby : the speaker himself or herself. Cf. babe , n. 4a.
  • possum 1894– Australian colloquial . Used as a mildly depreciative term for a person: a creature. Also as a playful or affectionate mode of address.
  • hot tamale 1895– U.S. slang . Chiefly in hot tamale . A person, esp. one characterized as being eager, popular, or otherwise ‘hot’ (in various senses). Now rare …
  • babe 1900– colloquial (originally U.S. ). A person (of either sex). Frequently as a form of address. Cf. baby , n. A.6d.
  • jobbie 1902– U.S. A person. Cf. job , n.² 8. Now rare .
  • virile 1903– Of persons. absol. as n. A virile person.
  • cup of tea 1908– Used of a person.
  • skin 1914– Originally and chiefly Irish English colloquial . As a term of friendship: a person, esp. a man; a ‘chap’, a ‘sort’. Usually with a positive…
  • pisser 1918– Originally U.S. Originally: a particularly fine or impressive person or thing. Later more generally: something remarkable or formidable.
  • number 1919– colloquial . A person or thing. A person, esp. a girl or young woman. Frequently with modifying word. Also: spec. a sexual partner.
  • job 1927– colloquial (originally U.S. ). Chiefly with modifying word. A person, esp. a young woman, of a kind specified or evident from the context.
  • apple 1928– colloquial (chiefly U.S. ). A person; a fellow, a guy. Usually with preceding adjective.
  • finger 1930– slang (now rare ). British (chiefly London ). A person; a fellow; a ‘bloke’.
  • mush 1936– A man, a fellow, a ‘bloke’. Frequently as a form of address.
  • face 1944– slang . Originally U.S. An individual, a person.
  • jong 1956– Originally: a (young male) slave. Later also: a young black or Coloured ( coloured , adj. A.I.3d) male servant, esp. a houseboy. Also as a form of…
  • naked ape 1965– A human being, esp. as viewed from a biological perspective. Usually with the .
  • oke 1970– = okie , n.² Also (more generally): a fellow, a person (of either sex).
  • punter 1975– Scottish colloquial . Simply: a person. Sometimes depreciative .
Se haliga frofre gast þe fæder sent on minum naman [Latin paracletus autem Spiritus Sanctus quem mittet Pater in nomine meo ] eow lærð ealle þing.
On þam dæge [ sc. Sunday] Godes gast com to mancynne.
& godess gast iss kariteþ & soþfasst lufe nemmnedd.
Þe uerste libbeþ be þe ulesse..Þe zixte be þe goste and be þe loue of god.
He schall giffe baptyme more entire in fire and gaste .
He saw y e heavens departed, and y e ghoost to come down lijk a doov on him.
God's Spirit is no private empty shade But that great Ghost that fills both earth and sky.
I was baptized with the Ghost that is Holy, which is the Ghost of God.
'Tis man himself, the temple of thy Ghost .
When the folk went into the wilderness Driven by the ghost of God, I guess, They heard a voice and they saw a face.
To the blasphemously disposed, the trio of Father, Son and Ghost sounded like one of those species-crossing families in the movies, Tarzan, Jane and Cheetah, say.
  • ghost Old English– Theology . The divine nature or essential power of God, regarded as a creative, animating, or inspiring influence. In later use: spec. the Third…
  • Holy Ghost Old English– Chiefly with the and capital initials. The Third Person ( person , n. III.6a) of the Trinity, God as spiritually active in the world; = Holy Spirit , n. …
  • Holy Spirit c1350– Chiefly with the and capital initials. The Third Person ( person , n. III.6a) of the Trinity, God as spiritually active in the world; = Holy Ghost , n. …
  • spirit c1384– Theology . The divine nature or essential power of God, regarded as a creative, animating, or inspiring… With the and (usually) capital initial.
  • Spirit of Truth (formerly also Verity, Soothness) c1384– Spirit of Truth (formerly also †Verity, †Soothness) : the Holy Spirit.
  • dove 1707– figurative and transferred . Applied to the Holy Spirit.
Se Godes wer þurh witedomes gast [Latin per prophetiae spiritum ] þone storm toweardne foreseah.
Nu weron summe dwolmen mid deofles gaste ifulled þe nolden ilyfæn [etc.] .
Ah is an heouenlich gast in hire swa aȝein us þet we ne cunnen..warpen na word aȝein.
Þe gost of wysdome and of onderstondinge, þe gost of strengþe and of uirtue, þe gost of wytte and of pite, þe gost of godes drede..byeþ þe graces huer-of he wes al uol.
Thow seyst nat soth quod he þou sorceresse, with al þi fals gost of prophesie.
The gast of god in hym [ sc. Samuel] dyscend, wher by he cowth tell talys trew.
  • ghost Old English–1450 A quality, virtue, or insight; esp. one regarded as divine in origin. Also: a quality or insight which is regarded as coming from the Devil…
  • grace c1300– Theology . An individual virtue or excellence which is regarded as divine in origin. Cf. sense I.4b.
  • cherub a1340–1650 In early use: ( cherubin , -yn , -ym ). A reproduction of the Latin form, apparently treated as singular… Explained as ‘fullness of knowledge’, or ‘a…
[Mercian dialect] Os meum aperui et adtraxi spiritum : muð minne ic ontynde & togeteh gast .
Sumum wordlaþe wise sendeð on his modes gemynd þurh his muþes gæst , æðele ondgiet.
Heofonas synd gefæstnode þurh þæt halige Godes word, & þurh his muðes gast heora miht is getrymmed.
Þe boke says, alswa, þat he, Thurgh þe gast of Goddes mouthe slayn sal be.
  • blead Old English–1175 Blowing, breath, inspiration.
  • breath Old English–1540 An odour, a smell. Obsolete .
  • ethem Old English–1225 Breath; vapour. Also: a blast of air, fire, or smoke.
  • fnast Old English–1250 Breath.
  • ghost Old English–1425 The breath of God or a god. Occasionally also more generally: breath. Obsolete .
  • wind Old English– Air inhaled and exhaled by the lungs: = breath , n. 3 Obsolete except as coloured by II.11d below.
  • blas ?c1225–1380 A blast, breath.
  • aynd a1300– Breath. Also in to take one's aynd : to catch one's breath ( literal and figurative ).
  • blast a1325– A puff or blowing of air through the mouth or nostrils; a breath. Obsolete or archaic .
  • respiration ?a1425– A single act of breathing.
  • breast 1535–1625 The voice in singing; a person's singing voice. Obsolete .
  • air 1567–1710 Breath; also figurative . Obsolete .
  • respire a1657–1821 An act of respiration; a breath. Also as a mass noun: breathing, respiration.
  • puff 1827– colloquial (originally British ). Breath; available breath, the ability to breathe effectively; (in extended use) energy, stamina. out of puff : out…
[Mercian dialect] Pluet super peccatores laqueos ignis et sulphur et spiritus procellarum pars calicis eorum : rineð ofer ða synfullan giren fyres & swefelrec & gast ysta dael calices heara.
He his word sendeð þuruh windes gast ; blaweð beorhtlice.
Þe gost of tempestes ys partener of her wyckednesse.
He sall rayn on synful.. gast of stormes.
  • blast Old English– A blowing or strong gust of wind.
  • ghost Old English–1500 A blast of strong wind, a gust; the blowing of a storm. Obsolete .
  • rage c1405 In extended use (of a natural force or agent). A fierce blast of wind. Obsolete . rare .
  • blore c1440– A violent blowing, a blast or gust; also figurative stormy breath, bluster.
  • flaw 1513– A sudden burst or squall of wind; a sudden blast or gust, usually of short duration.
  • thud 1513– A blast of wind or tempest; a gust; a squall. (In later quots. including the notion of sound.) Scottish .
  • flag a1522–35 A blast or gust (of wind); a squall. flag of fire : a flash of lightning.
  • fudder a1522– A storm or squall; a sudden violent gust of wind. Also figurative : a sudden noisy or powerful rush; a bustle, a hurry; a disturbance or commotion.
  • flake 1555– A (loose) sheet of ice; a floe.
  • flan 1572– A sudden gust or puff of wind.
  • whid ?1590–1 A squall, blast of wind. Obsolete .
  • flirt a1592– A jerk; a sudden, quick movement; a darting motion; a flick. Also: a gust of wind.
  • gust 1594– A sudden violent rush or blast of wind; †formerly often in less restricted sense, a wind-storm, a whirlwind.
  • berry 1598–1611 A gust or blast (of wind).
  • wind-catch 1610–65 A squall of wind.
  • snuff 1613–42 A puff, blast. Obsolete .
  • stress 1625–1700 A period of stormy or windy weather; a storm, a gale. Also figurative . Cf. sense phrases P.1d. Obsolete .
  • flash 1654–1808 transferred . A sudden burst of rain, wind, steam, etc.; a fit of activity, a spurt. Obsolete .
  • blow 1655– A blowing; a blast. Of the wind. Also, a breath of fresh air; a ‘breather’ (sense 3); to get a blow : to expose oneself to the action of a fresh…
  • fresh 1662– A sudden increase of wind; a gust, squall. Now rare .
  • scud 1694– A sudden gust of wind.
  • flurry 1698– A sudden agitation of the air, a gust or squall.
  • gush 1704– transferred and figurative . A sudden and violent outbreak; a ‘burst’. Of physical phenomena: A gust or rush of wind (now dialect ); a burst (of…
  • flam 1711– = flan , n.¹
  • waff 1727 A puff, passing gust, sudden blast (of wind or air). literal and figurative .
  • flawer 1737 = flaw , n.²
  • Roger's Blast a1825– A sudden small, localized whirlwind. Also Sir Roger's blast . Cf. rodges-blast , n. , Roger , n.² 5.
  • flaff 1827– A flutter or flapping of the wings; also, a puff, gust.
  • slat 1840– A sudden gust or blast of wind.
  • scart 1861– A gust, puff (of wind); a strip (of cloud).
  • rodges-blast 1879– A sudden small, localized whirlwind; = Roger's Blast , n.
  • cannon blast 1885– The destructive physical force of cannon fire; an instance of a cannon or cannons being fired; the sound of this; also in extended use.
  • huffle 1889– A sudden gust of wind, or the sound made by this.
  • slap 1890– A gust of wind.
  • slammer 1891– A violent gust (of wind).
  • Sir Roger 1893– English regional ( East Anglian ). Also Sir Roger . A sudden small, localized whirlwind. Cf. Roger's Blast , n. , rodges-blast , n.
Sume sindon ungesewenlice gastas butan lichoman swa swa synd ænglas on heofonum.
Þe clerkes sede..Þat þer beþ in þe eyr an hey, ver fram þe grounde, As a maner gostes ..Þat men clupeþ eluene.
He þat alle gastes , god and ill, Has for to weld all at his will!
That affable familiar ghost Which nightly gulls him with intelligence.
They need not be concerned for such Trifles as their Souls, nor stand in fear of Angels, or Devils, or any other Ghost , or Power Invisible.
For thousands of years it was believed that ghosts , good and bad, benevolent and malignant, weak and powerful, in some mysterious way, produced all phenomena.
He believed in ghosts good and bad, yet could tell you exactly how electricity was generated and fed into a light bulb.
  • ghost Old English– An incorporeal, supernatural, rational being, of a type usually regarded as imperceptible to humans but capable of becoming visible at will; a…
  • spirit c1350– An incorporeal, supernatural, rational being, of a type usually regarded as imperceptible to humans but capable of becoming visible at will, and…
  • mind a1398– Frequently in theistic (esp. Christian) contexts: transcendent intelligence, rationality, or being, esp. that seen as initiating or controlling…
  • sprite ?1440– An incorporeal or immaterial being; a disembodied spirit or soul; (now usually) spec. a supernatural creature or spirit, typically portrayed as…
  • intelligence a1456– An intelligent or rational being, esp. a spiritual one, or one alien to humankind.
  • intelligency 1582– = intelligence , n. 5a.
  • genio 1590– A supernatural being or spirit; = genius , n. A.I.3. historical and rare after 17th cent.
  • genius a1592– Any supernatural being or spirit. In later use also: spec. = genie , n. 3a.
  • ethereal 1610– An ethereal being, a spirit, an immortal.
  • spirituality 1628–1860 An incorporeal, intangible, or spiritual substance, essence, or entity; a spirit. Cf. spiritual , adj. A.II.10a. Obsolete .
  • supernatural 1660– A supernatural being.
  • jynx 1662– Name of an order of spiritual intelligences in ancient ‘Chaldaic’ philosophy.
  • duende 1691– In the folklore of Spain, Portugal, Latin America, and the Philippines: a supernatural being or spirit, typically short in stature and resembling…
  • atua 1769– A Polynesian name for a supernatural being, god, or demon.
  • nat 1819– In the Indigenous religion of Burma (Myanmar): a spirit, demon, or supernatural being.
  • demon 1822– Esp. in non-Christian contexts: any spirit or supernatural being (not regarded as intrinsically evil).
Þa heo þa heora word..geendedon, & swelce eft mid þæm engelicum gastum to heofonum hwurfen.
Englæs beoð þeiniendlice gastes .
Ich biseh to þe engles..iblescede gastes þe beoð a biuore godd.
I am þe gost of goodnesse þat so wold ȝe gydde.
Ghost ! Angel! Goddesse! Nimph! Speake, daine a word to tell me what thou art, That thus appearst in such a glorious shape To intercept my death?
Some say he was..half God and half man, or the offspring of an heavenly ghost and an earthly virgin.
They puffed their pipes In honour of Waconda, Heaven's Ghost .
I saw several illuminated spirits dressed in white robes walk through the wall of the tabernacle. I knew they were special ghosts from heaven because I could feel a sense of adoration and reverence.
  • angel Old English– In Judaism, Christianity, and Islam: a member of a class of celestial beings considered intermediate between God and humanity and typically…
  • ghost Old English– A good spirit; an angel.
  • Son of God a1382– An angel; a divine being. Somewhat rare after 18th cent.
  • saint 1382– In biblical use applied to angels.
  • angel (also spirit) of light c1384– angel (also spirit) of light : an angel or spirit inhabiting Heaven.
  • watcher 1535– One who watches or keeps watch. As the title of a class of angels or of angels generally; tr. Aramaic ʿīr , one who is wakeful.
  • watchman 1552–1613 Applied to angels. Cf. watcher , n. f. Obsolete .
  • angel power 1714– (Frequently in plural ) a powerful celestial being or spirit.
Se ðe wile geornlice ðone Godes cwide singan.., he mæg ðone laðan gæst , feohtende feond, fleonde gebrengan.
Þonne se unclæna gast utfærþ fram menn, he gæð geond drige stowa secende reste.
Herode king maȝȝ swiþe wel. Þe laþe gast bitacnenn.
Swiche hertes fondeð þe fule gost deies and nihtes.
Þou luþere gost and doumb..Ich hote þe þat þov wende hasteliche fram þe childe.
How iesus quen he lang had fast Was fondid wit þe wik gast .
Oure wrestling is..agaynst the spyrituall wycked ghostes of the ayre.
They are filled with the wicked ghost , or spirit full of Satan.
Pointing to him, the foul and ugly Ghosts Of Hell, shall say, ‘ That was an Englishman ’.
I heard a wild scream, and started down the street with all the ghosts of hell at my back.
My mom believed I was possessed by ghosts and that if I didn't have an exorcism then the evil spirits would stay with me.
  • angel Old English– Christian Church . Any of a number of celestial beings believed to have rebelled against God and been cast out of heaven (see Revelation 12:7-9); a…
  • devil Old English– An evil spirit; a demon, a fiend. Any of a number of malignant beings of superhuman nature and powers; an associate or subordinate of Satan; a fallen…
  • ghost Old English– An evil spirit; a demon. Also in the loath (also foul, wicked) ghost : the Devil. rare after 17th cent.
  • hell-devil Old English– A devil from hell; a person likened to such a creature.
  • shuck Old English–1275 A devil, fiend. Obsolete .
  • warlock Old English–1440 A devil, demon, spirit of hell. Obsolete . rare .
  • unwight a1200–75 An evil being or spirit; a fiend or monster; spec. the devil.
  • beast c1225– A devil, a demon, an evil spirit.
  • hell-fiend c1330– A fiend or devil; a fiendish or fiendlike person.
  • ragman c1400–1568 The Devil, or any devil. Cf. ragamuffin , n. A.1, ragged , adj.¹ I.1a. Obsolete . rare .
  • Satanas c1426–1500 A (lesser) devil; = Satan , n. 1b. Obsolete .
  • diabolic 1502– An agent or follower of the Devil; a wicked person.
  • ruffy 1502–1871 (The name of) a devil or fiend. Also in Ruffy Ragman , Ruffy Tasker . Cf. Ruffin , n.¹ , ruffian , n.
  • Satan ?1545– In generalized sense: a devil, an evil spirit, a demon.
  • Avernal ?1548– An inhabitant of Avernus, a devil.
  • fallen angel ?1587– In Christian, Jewish, and Islamic theology: an angel who rebelled against God and was cast down from heaven. Cf. rebel angel , n.
  • rebel angel 1623– In Christian, Jewish, and Islamic theology: an angel who rebelled against God and was cast down from heaven. Cf. fallen angel , n. 1.
  • deedle 1653 = devil , n.
  • blackamoor 1663– Now archaic and offensive . figurative . A devil. rare .
  • man's enemy a1800 The Devil.
  • ne'er 1802– Scottish . euphemistic . The Devil. Only in imprecations.
  • Earl of Hell 1817– (A name for) a fearsome or malevolent person or being, spec. the Devil; also in similative use, esp. in as black (also filthy) as the Earl of Hell's …
  • dickens 1830–1909 With the . The devil. Obsolete .
  • Lucifer 1886– Misused for: A devil.
  • demon Old English– Any evil spirit or malevolent supernatural being; a devil.
  • devilshine Old English– Illusion or delusion caused by or attributed to the Devil; the power or influence of a devil; diabolical works; devilish behaviour. Cf. devilry , n. …
  • evil angel, spirit Old English– Uses partaking of senses A.I.1, A.I.2. evil angel, spirit , etc. Also, the evil one (†Sc. the evil man) : the Devil.
  • unclean Old English– Of a demon, devil, etc.: wicked, evil. Chiefly in unclean spirit n. a demon. Also in extended use.
  • gro a1225 An evil spirit.
  • deblerie a1325 properly . Demoniacal possession: but in quot. 1325 transl. a Latin word meaning ‘demon’.
  • devilness a1400–48 A devil, a demon, a false god; (also) the presence or activity of the Devil or a devil. Cf. devilry , n. 2. Obsolete . rare .
  • devilry c1400–1602 A devil, an evil spirit, esp. one possessing a person. Also: (an instance of) demonic possession. Obsolete .
  • sprat ?a1475–1549 An evil spirit.
  • nicker 1481 A demon, a devil. Obsolete . rare .
  • fiend of hell 1509 An evil spirit generally; a demon, devil, or diabolical being; more fully fiend of hell .
  • imp 1526– spec. A ‘child’ of the devil, or of hell. With parentage expressed: Applied to wicked men, and to petty fiends or evil spirits.
  • virtue 1584 Usually in plural (with singular or plural agreement). In medieval angelology: one of the orders of angels (the fifth in the ninefold celestial…
  • elf 1587–1689 Mythology . Sometimes distinguished from a ‘fairy’: (a) as an inferior or subject species; (b) as a more malignant being, an ‘imp’, ‘demon’; also figur …
  • succubus 1601– transferred . A demon, evil spirit; occasionally a familiar spirit.
  • blue devil c1616– A harmful or malignant demon, esp. one that causes melancholy (cf. sense 2a). Cf. blue , adj. A.II.7a. Now rare .
  • black man 1656– regional and colloquial . An evil spirit; the devil. Also: a bogeyman invoked to frighten children.
  • woolsaw 1757– Among people of African descent in Central America, an evil spirit or demon.
  • buggane 1775– An imaginary evil spirit or creature; a bogeyman.
  • bhut 1785– In India, a spirit; a demon or goblin.
  • demonic 1785– With the . That which is demonic, the nature or qualities of a demon; demons collectively.
  • pishachi 1807– In South Asia: a female demon or devil; (hence) a spring whirlwind. Cf. devil , n. 12.
  • devil-devil 1831– (a) (In Australian Aboriginal belief) an evil spirit; a manifestation of evil; (b) slang very uneven ground which is difficult to traverse…
  • skookum 1838– An evil spirit; a disease. Obsolete exc. Historical .
  • taipo 1840– In Māori tradition: an evil spirit that brings disease or death; a demon, a bogeyman.
  • lightning bird 1870– South African Mythology . A malevolent shape-shifting spirit that most frequently assumes the form of a bird. Also: (a name for) any of various…
  • demonry 1883– Demons collectively.
  • pisaca 1885– A demon, a malignant spirit.
  • mafufunyanas 1963– In plural . The evil spirits which are believed to possess a person suffering from this disorder.
  • mare 1981– British colloquial . A nightmare; an unpleasant, frightening, or frustrating experience; an occasion when everything goes wrong. See nightmare , n. …
[Northumbrian dialect] To ymbhycggannae..huaet his gastae godaes aeththa yflaes aefter deothdaege doemid uueorthae.
Witeð ȝie awariede gostes in to eche fur.
His bodi here, his gast was þar, His goddhede wanted noþer-quar.
He did sacrifice to his Wiues Ghost .
To take full Vengeance for the loss of Rainsborough, to whose Ghost he design'd an ample sacrifice.
When the ghost has been developed into a being of that higher grade [ i.e. a deity] , the food offered does not of necessity involve the shedding of blood of animals or men, but may consist of corn, fruits, or cakes.
Two fir trees under a thatched roof..guard a drinking trough which serves as a memorial to the ghost of a dog. It is inscribed ‘in memory of Jake. 1935’.
When burning spirit money, silver spirit money is for ghosts , whereas gold spirit money for gods.
  • ghost Old English– The soul of a deceased person or animal, conceived of as continuing to exist in an afterlife, apart from the physical world. In later use: esp. the…
  • spirit c1384– The disembodied soul of a deceased person, regarded as a separate entity and invested with some degree of personality and form; = soul , n. II.8. Cf…
  • lemur c1580– In Roman mythology: plural . The spirits of the departed.
  • shade 1616– The visible but impalpable form of a dead person, a ghost. Also, a disembodied spirit, an inhabitant of Hades (= Latin umbra ); chiefly with…
  • idolon 1619– An incorporeal spirit; (sometimes spec. ) an aspect of a person's sensual or physical being considered as persisting after death; (more generally) a…
  • angel 1787– A dead person envisaged as having become an angel; the spirit of a person who has died considered as having passed into heaven. Cf. angel baby , n.
  • shen 1847– In Chinese philosophy: a god, person of supernatural power, or the spirit of a dead person.
  • dybbuk 1877– In Jewish folklore: the malevolent spirit of a dead person that enters and controls the body of a living person until exorcized.
Hire ætywde on nihtlicre gesyhðe hire swyster gast .
Heo i-seiȝe on-ouewarde..A wrechche gost , naked and bar.
This nyght myn faderys gost Hath in myn slep so sore me tormentid.
Fadir, thi drery gost Sa oft apperand, maid me seik this cost.
I'le bury some money before I die that my ghost may hant thee afterward.
Now you would persuade me, you have seen a ghost !
Each hour, at one or the other of certain corners, the lonely copper and the ghost of the dog stop, while the former gazes away into the darkness as if expecting to meet someone.
In front of us a spear's ghost used to fly across the path about that time in the afternoon.
He was in the position of a man who does not believe in ghosts , but does not rest easy in a haunted house.
The foppish ghost of the legendary poet, Hellenophile and all-round hedonist, George Gordon Byron, is said to haunt the halls of Newstead Abbey in Nottingham.
  • ghost Old English– The soul or spirit of a dead person or animal, conceived of as appearing in visible form or otherwise manifesting in the physical world, typically…
  • hue Old English–1603 concrete . An apparition, a phantasm. Obsolete .
  • soul Old English– The disembodied spirit of a deceased person (or occasionally an animal) regarded as a separate entity and invested with some degree of…
  • fantasy c1325–1583 A spectral apparition, phantom; an illusory appearance. Obs.
  • phantom c1384– A thing (usually with human form) that appears to the sight or other sense, but has no material substance; an apparition, a spectre, a ghost. Also…
  • phantasm c1430– An apparition, spirit, or ghost; a visible but incorporeal being. Now archaic and rare .
  • haunter c1440– One who or that which haunts, in various senses; a frequenter.
  • shadow a1464– A spectral form, phantom; = shade , n. II.6.
  • appearance 1488– That which appears without being material; a phantom or apparition.
  • wraith 1513– An apparition or spectre of a dead person; a phantom or ghost.
  • hag 1538–1637 A frightening apparition or creature, esp. a ghost. Obsolete .
  • spoorn 1584–1790 A special kind of spectre or phantom.
  • vizard a1591 A phantasm or spectre. Obsolete . rare .
  • life-in-death 1593– A condition of being or seeming to be neither alive nor dead, a phantom state between life and death; (in extended use) something having the form or…
  • phantasma 1598– = phantasm , n. (in various senses).
  • umbra 1601– The shade of a deceased person; a phantom or ghost. Also figurative .
  • larve 1603– = larva , n. 1.
  • spectre 1605– An apparition, phantom, or ghost, esp. one of a terrifying nature or aspect.
  • spectrum 1611– An apparition or phantom; a spectre.
  • idolon 1612– A non-material image of a person or thing; esp. a mental image, visualization, or conception.
  • apparition a1616– spec. An immaterial appearance as of a real being; a spectre, phantom, or ghost. (The ordinary current sense.)
  • shade a1616– A spectre, phantom. rare .
  • shape a1616– concrete . An imaginary, spectral, or ethereal form; a phantom. Now rare .
  • show a1616–1841 A phantom, a vision, an apparition. Obsolete .
  • larva 1651– A disembodied spirit; a ghost, hobgoblin, spectre. Obsolete exc. Historical .
  • white hat ?1693 Newfoundland . The name of a spirit or ghost. Obsolete . rare .
  • zumbi 1704– Chiefly in West and South-west African (esp. Angolan) contexts: the ghost or spirit of a dead person, esp. a malevolent one. Occasionally also Car …
  • jumbie 1764– The ghost or spirit of a dead person, esp. a malevolent one. Cf. duppy , n. , zombie , n. I.1.
  • duppy 1774– A name among black West Indians for a ghost or spirit.
  • waff 1777– An apparition, wraith. = waft , n.¹ 7.
  • zombie 1788– In parts of the Caribbean (esp. Haiti) and the southern United States: the ghost or spirit of a dead person, esp. a malevolent one. Cf. zumbi , n. , j …
  • Wild Huntsman 1796– A phantom huntsman of Teutonic legend, fabled to ride at night through the fields and woods with shouts and baying of hounds.
  • spook 1801– A spectre, apparition, ghost. Often somewhat jocular or colloquial .
  • ghostie 1810– A ghost.
  • hantu a1811– An evil spirit, a ghost.
  • preta 1811– The disembodied soul of a dead person, esp. before the completion of funeral rites and ceremonies allowing it to leave the world of humans as an…
  • bodach 1814– A peasant, churl; also ( Scottish ) a spectre.
  • revenant 1823– A person who returns from the dead; a reanimated corpse; a ghost. Also figurative .
  • death-fetch 1826– (a) An apparition or double of a living person that is superstitiously believed to portend the person's death; (b) a spirit supposed to come and…
  • sowlth 1829– A formless, luminous spectre. Chiefly in the writings of W. B. Yeats.
  • kehua 1839– The spirit of a dead person; a ghost.
  • haunt 1843– U.S. regional and English regional . A spirit supposed to haunt a place; a ghost. Also (occasionally) in wider use.
  • night-bat 1847– (a) Caribbean ( Barbados and Guyana ) a bat; (b) now literary a ghost, a bogey; (c) chiefly Jamaican , a large night-flying moth.
  • spectrality 1850– A phantasm; ghostliness.
  • thivish 1852– A ghost, apparition, or spectre.
  • beastie 1867– Originally Scottish . A frightening supernatural creature or spirit; a ghost, hobgoblin, or bogey; a monster.
  • barrow-wight 1891– A mound of earth or stones erected in early times over a grave; a grave-mound, a tumulus. Also attributive as barrow-wight n. (see quot. 1891); so…
  • resurrect 1892 A person who has risen from the dead.
  • waft 1897– An apparition, wraith. Cf. waff , n. 5.
  • churel 1901– In India, the ghost of a woman who has died in child-birth, believed to haunt lonely places malevolently and to spread disease.
  • comeback 1908– A person who has returned; (also) a ghost. rare .
Hatefull diuorce of loue, (thus chides she death) Grim-grinning ghost , earths-worme.
A Ghost , or other Idol or Phantasme of the Imagination.
An Apparition is vulgarly call'd by us a Ghost .
A person..may consciously know beforehand what his life is going to be, and a thought or wish in connection with that knowledge may be strong enough to raise a brain image of the past that sufficiently truly pictures the substance of this thought. This is one kind of true ghost or vision.
We saw that first mesa rising out of the plain, with another ghost or mirage mesa hovering over it in the great heat of the dry aromatic air.
  • vision c1290– Something which is apparently seen otherwise than by ordinary sight; esp. an appearance of a prophetic or mystical character, or having the nature of…
  • figure 1340–1616 An insubstantial or imagined form; an apparition, a vision. Obsolete .
  • image c1350– A visible appearance; a manifestation of a figure; an apparition.
  • idol ?a1425– A visible but intangible image such as is produced by an optical illusion, reflection, etc. Sometimes also: an image that only exists in the…
  • beholding c1440– The thing beheld: †(a) an image, a spectre ( obsolete ); (b) a vision ( archaic ).
  • semblance 1489– An apparition or vision ( of a person, etc.).
  • ghost 1593– A thing that merely resembles some other thing in form or appearance, esp. a mirage, reflection, hallucination, etc. Also as a modifier. Now rare .
  • fancy 1609–56 A spectral apparition; an illusion of the senses. Cf. fantasy , n. 2. Obs.
  • species 1639–61 A thing seen; a spectacle; esp. an unreal or imaginary object of sight; a phantom or illusion. Obsolete .
  • spectral a1656 An apparition; a spectre.
  • eidolon 1763– An insubstantial manifestation of a person or (occasionally) thing; a spirit, a phantom; an apparition. Also in extended use.
  • spectre 1801– An image or phantom produced by reflection or other natural cause.
Bot we ne fynde nouȝth þai mowe arere þe ded to lyue. Bot in-to cursed gostes fendes willeþ go.
Kissyng every parte of hys senceles ghoste .
Oft haue I seene a timely parted ghost , Of ashie semblance, pale and bloodlesse.
  • bones Old English– In plural . The skeleton or its constituent parts considered as representative of the body after death; the mortal remains of a person or animal.
  • dust Old English– transferred and figurative (from 1.) That to which anything is reduced by disintegration or decay; spec. the ‘ashes’, or mouldered remains of a dead…
  • hold Old English–1200 A carcass, dead body, corpse.
  • lich Old English– = body , n. A dead body; a corpse.
  • stiff one a1200– Rigid in death. stiff and stark : see stark , adj. A.5b. stiff one , stiff 'un , (a) a corpse ( slang ); (b) slang a racehorse certain to lose or not to run…
  • body c1225– A corpse.
  • carrion ?c1225–1763 A dead body; a corpse or carcass. Obsolete .
  • licham ?c1225–1488 A dead body; a corpse.
  • worms' food or ware ?c1225– worm's (also worms') meat , said of a man's dead body, or of man as mortal. Also †worms' food or ware ; meat for (or †to) worms (cf. to be food for …
  • corse c1250– A dead body; = corpse , n. 2. Now chiefly poetic or archaic . simply .
  • ash c1275– From the ancient custom of burning the bodies of the dead: That which remains of a human body after cremation or ( transferred ) total decomposition…
  • corpse c1315– esp. The dead body of a person (or formerly any animal). simply . (The ordinary current sense.)
  • carcass 1340– The dead body of a person or animal; but no longer (since 1750) used, in ordinary language, of the human corpse, except in contempt (see 3). With…
  • murrain a1382–1632 The flesh of animals that have died of disease (also flesh of murrain ). More generally: dead flesh, carrion. Obsolete .
  • relics a1398– In plural . The remains of a person; the body, or part of the body, of a deceased person (sometimes implying sense 1).
  • ghost c1400–1594 A corpse. Obsolete .
  • wormes ware c1400–50 Food for worms.
  • corpus c1440– The body of a person or animal. (Cf. corpse , n. 1.)
  • scad c1440 A corpse.
  • relief c1449 The body, or part of the body, of a dead person, esp. a saint; a relic. rare .
  • mart c1480 In extended use, of a person. A corpse. Obsolete . rare .
  • cadaver c1500– A dead body, esp. of man; a corpse. (Now chiefly in technical language.)
  • mort c1500–1888 A corpse, a dead body. Also in figurative context. Obsolete .
  • tramort ?a1513–35 A putrefying carcass; a corpse.
  • hearse 1530–1633 A dead body, a corpse. Obsolete .
  • bulk 1575–1637 A dead body, carcass. Obsolete .
  • offal 1581– The parts of a slaughtered or dead animal considered unfit for human consumption; decomposing flesh, carrion. Also (in extended use): slain…
  • trunk 1594–1709 A dead body, a corpse; also, the body considered apart from the soul or life. Obsolete .
  • cadaverie 1600 = cadaver , n.
  • relicts 1607– In plural . The remains of a deceased person; = relic , n. 3. Now rare .
  • remains 1610– In plural . A part or the parts of a person's body after death; a corpse. Also in singular : a piece or fragment of a dead body.
  • mummy a1616–89 Flesh; esp. the flesh of a carcass, dead flesh. Obsolete .
  • relic 1636– In singular in the same sense. rare .
  • cold meat 1788– slang . A corpse; corpses. Chiefly attributive , as cold-meat box (coffin), cold-meat cart (hearse), cold-meat party (funeral or wake), cold-meat train …
  • mortality 1827–71 The mortal part of man; mortal remains. Obsolete .
  • death bone 1834– (a) (In plural ) the bones of a dead person or dead people, or (in quot. 1933) of someone about to die; (b) among Australian Aboriginal people, a…
  • deader 1853– A dead person, a corpse.
  • stiff 1859– slang . A corpse (= stiff 'un at sense A.I.2b).
Great numbers of miserable and pitiful ghosts , or rather shadowes of men.
By their unmerciful bleeding him; insomuch that he seemed to have little more left than would suffice to make him a walking Ghost .
He was a meer Anatomy or perfect Ghost , with so little Breath.
She was..talking to a child of about her own years—a pale, thin ghost of a thing, whose uncared-for locks, ragged frock, and broken, trodden-down shoes formed a striking contrast to her own trim gracefulness.
When Pru returns to him asking to go she is dead pale, a ghost with the lipstick on her face like movie blood.
The ancient cities of Yemen become ruins filled with starving ghosts .
  • staff c1405– As the type of something long, thin, straight, or stiff, esp. in similes or comparisons.
  • rake a1529– In extended use: a very thin person. Cf. as thin as a rake at phrases.
  • crag 1542 A lean scraggy person.
  • scrag 1542– A lean person or animal. (In depreciatory use.) Cf. crag , n.³ (which occurs only in Udall).
  • sneakbill 1546–1653 A mean or paltry fellow; a starved or thin-faced person. Also attributive .
  • starveling 1546– A starved person or animal; a person who is habitually underfed or hungry; a person who is emaciated for lack of nourishment.
  • notomy ?a1549– A skeleton; (hence) a thin or emaciated person. Formerly also: †a body for dissection; a representation or model of the skeleton ( obsolete ).
  • slim 1548–1611 A lanky, lazy, worthless, or despicable person. Obsolete .
  • ghost 1590– A very pale or emaciated person; a person who is not at full strength. Cf. the ghost of a person's (or thing's) former self at phrases P.2b.
  • bald-rib 1598– A joint of pork cut from nearer the rump than the spare rib, so called ‘because the bones thereof are made bald and bare of flesh’ (Minsheu)…
  • bare-bone 1598– A lean, skinny person.
  • bow-case 1599 A case in which a bow is kept. In 16–17th centuries applied humorously to a lean starveling, a ‘bag of bones’.
  • atomy 1600– In extended use and figurative . An emaciated or withered living body, a walking skeleton. Cf. anatomy , n. I.6. Now English regional .
  • sneaksbill 1602–43 = sneakbill , n.
  • thin-gut 1602– A thin-bellied, lean, or starved-looking person; a starveling. Also as adj. : = thin-gutted , adj.
  • anatomy a1616– A living being reduced to ‘skin and bone’; a withered or emaciated creature, a ‘walking skeleton’.
  • sharg 1623–1832 A weak, sickly, or emaciated person. Cf. shargar , n.
  • skeleton 1630– transferred . A very thin, lean, or emaciated person or animal.
  • raw-bone 1635– A very thin or gaunt person or animal, a mere skeleton. Also in plural : Death personified. Now rare .
  • living skeleton 1650– An individual with an extremely emaciated frame.
  • strammel 1706– ‘A lean, gaunt, ill-favoured person or animal’ (G. F. Jackson Shropshire Word-bk. ).
  • scarecrow 1711 A person whose appearance causes ridicule; a lean, gaunt figure; one who resembles a scarecrow in his or her dress, ‘a guy’.
  • rickle of bones 1729– Chiefly in rickle of bones . A very lean person or animal; a skeleton.
  • shargar 1754– A weak or emaciated person or animal; (also) a short bow-legged person.
  • squeeze-crab 1785–
  • rack of bones 1804– A skeleton. Now chiefly in extended use: an emaciated person or animal (esp. a horse).
  • thread-paper 1824– figurative . A person of slender or thin figure.
  • bag of bones 1838– bag of bones : an emaciated living being. the whole bag of tricks : every expedient, everything (in allusion to the fable of ‘the Fox and the Cat’)…
  • dry-bones 1845– A contemptuous or familiar term for a thin or withered person, who has little flesh on his or her bones.
  • skinnymalink 1870– A (humorously) depreciative name for: a skinny person or occasionally animal.
  • slim jim 1889– A very slim or thin person.
  • skinny 1907– colloquial . A skinny person.
  • underweight 1910– An underweight person.
  • asthenic 1925– One who is asthenic.
  • ectomorph 1940– A person with the lean body-build in which the physical structures developed from the ectodermal layer of the embryo, i.e. the skin and the nervous…
  • skinny-malinky 1957– Scottish . = skinnymalink , n.
  • matchstick 1959– In extended use. slang . A thin person.
Even supposing the absence of ‘ ghost ’ voters and other frauds.
The late Mr. A. A. Wilkins, who at one time was a citizen of this county, and who died in New Orleans about two years ago, is reported by the Picayune as having voted in New Orleans, at the recent election. According the account given several other ghosts voted also.
The short-gang gimmick (hire sixteen men for the work of twenty-two and pad the payroll with ghosts ).
I could give my rent book to one of them and get the Welfare ghosts to send my rent money to them so they could pay it for me like Lorraine used to do.
These are often the most sophisticated fraud schemes. The shell company is ‘a ghost ,’ Bares says. ‘It's a web site and a phone line. They don't exist as real companies.’
Did ghosts register in the state? After all, the millions of ghost workers on federal and state payrolls collect billions of Naira monthly.
The question of how to deal with ‘ ghost students’, who never even show their faces at schools, and a number of other riddles in connection with the new immigration law remain to be cleared up.
If even Harvard has ‘ ghosts ’ (admitted applicants who do not show up on registration day), the smaller colleges must expect to be roundly haunted, and they are.
These ghosts are people still on a GP surgery's books despite them no longer existing as patients of the practice.
Last week came news of tax ghosts in the Revenue's report. These are people, wealthy people, who somehow have managed not to join the club. Until picked up by one of the Revenue's special offices there is no file on them at a tax office.
The ‘ ghosts ’..do not exist on taxmen's books.
The Revenue computer can instantly confirm whether any named individual has a tax record. So the first break in a ‘ ghost ’ case is finding someone engaged in trade who has no record.
Detroit's income tax division sent mailings in April through June 2016 to 7,142 suspected ‘ ghosts ’.
  • tax-evader 1927–
  • ghost 1982– A person who evades official registration for tax.
  • skimmer 1970– One who conceals or diverts some of his or her earnings or takings in order to avoid paying tax on them. U.S. slang . Cf. skim , v. I.2d.
They have never been introduced to a ‘ ghost ’—that is to say, a person employed by incompetent artists secretly to do up their work and make it artistic.
In the opinion of some, his most successful compositions were written by the ghost who was least successful in mimicking his rather cumbersome style.
These buildings..were designed rapidly, often by anonymous young ‘ ghosts ’ in the offices of knighted architects.
A good ghost , for instance, supplies his or her own memories, because the famous person may have been too busy being successful to recall anything.
  • hack writer 1711– A person who hires himself or herself out to do any kind of literary work; (hence) a writer producing dull, unoriginal work, esp. to order.
  • garreteer 1720 One who lives in a garret; esp. an impecunious author or literary hack.
  • hack author a1734– In sense 4a, as hack author , hack reviewer , hack journalist , etc.
  • hack 1798 Originally: a person who may be hired to do any kind of work as required; a drudge, a lackey (cf. hackney , n. A.2). In later use: spec. a person who…
  • truckster 1843– A base trafficker; cf. truck , v.¹ 3.
  • hodman 1849– figurative . A mechanical worker in literature, a literary hack.
  • ghost 1881– A person who does work on behalf of another person who is publicly credited; esp. a ghostwriter. Cf. ghostwriter , n.
  • devil 1888–91 A person employed by an author or writer to do subordinate parts of his or her literary work under direction. More generally: any person who does…
  • deviller 1893– Originally Law slang . A person employed to carry out research or other professional work for someone else, esp. a lawyer or author; = devil , n. 8.
  • ghostwriter 1908– A person who writes an article, book, etc., for another person, under whose name it is then published. Cf. ghost , n. A.IV.12.
Besides this living entity, or solid embodiment of cavalry and guns, there is a skeleton army under Major-General E. C. Bethune, of four cavalry brigades (nominal).., which are likewise ‘ ghosts ’.
The day's work..will culminate in a running battle, in which the ‘ ghosts ’ will once more be the enemy.
That Berosus, which we now have, is not so much as the ghost , or carkasse..of that famous Chaldean Author.
Things, without Wit, or Meaning, and which are not so much, as the Ghosts of good Poetry.
There, Dick, what a breakfast!—oh, not like your ghost Of a breakfast in England.
Her breath rested for a second on his cheek like the ghost of a kiss.
He hadn't a ghost of an idea whether we could get through the Boche wire.
The ghost of a smile may be glimpsed on his face.
  • sign a1382– A trace of something that is disappearing or no longer there; a vestige; a remnant. Frequently (now chiefly) in negative phrases, as no sign of , not a …
  • step a1382–1578 figurative . A trace, vestige; mark or indication left by anything material or immaterial. Obsolete . (Cf. footstep , n. 2.)
  • ficching c1384 In quot. 1384 concrete the place where anything is fixed, the ‘print’.
  • mark a1400–1662 A vestige, a trace. Obsolete .
  • traces c1400– plural . Vestiges or marks remaining and indicating the former presence, existence, or action of something; singular a vestige, an indication. Also t …
  • scent c1422– The characteristic odour of a person or animal by which hunting dogs or other animals are able to detect and track their quarry; (hence) a track or…
  • footstep ?a1425– figurative . A mark, impression, or indication left by someone or something; a vestige, a trace; = step , n.¹ I.9b. Cf. footstepping , n.
  • tiding a1440 figurative . Indications, traces. Obsolete . rare .
  • relic c1475– A surviving trace of some practice, fact, idea, quality, etc. In early use usually in plural ; now usually in singular .
  • smell ?a1505– figurative . A trace, suggestion, or tinge of something. Also without article, or with adjective. Hence, the special, indefinable, or subtle…
  • stead 1513–1896 Scottish . A mark, imprint, vestige. Chiefly plural .
  • vestigy 1545–1644 A vestige or trace.
  • print 1548–1715 A vestige, a trace; an indication. Obsolete .
  • token 1555–1610 Something remaining as evidence of what formerly existed; a vestige, trace, ‘sign’. Obsolete .
  • remnant 1560– A remaining trace or survival of some quality, belief, condition, or state of things.
  • show 1561– An indication or sign of a fact, quality, etc.; a trace or vestige of something. Chiefly with of . Later only in negative contexts. Now rare except as…
  • mention 1564– British regional in later use. Indication, evidence; a vestige, trace, remnant.
  • signification 1576–1607 An indication or trace of a physical thing. Obsolete .
  • footing ?1580–1841 figurative . An example or precedent set by someone or something; a vestige, trace, or indication. Cf. footstep , n. 2. Obsolete .
  • tract 1583–1698 A mark remaining where something has been; an indication, vestige ( literal or figurative ): = trace , n.¹ 6. Obsolete .
  • remainder 1585– A remaining trace of a quality, feeling, or pattern of behaviour. Now rare .
  • vestige 1602– A mark, trace, or visible sign of something, esp. a building or other material structure, which no longer exists or is present; a piece of material…
  • wrack 1602– That which remains after the operation of any destructive action or agency; a vestige or trace left by some subversive cause. Also figurative .
  • engravement 1604–1727 The action of engraving; that which is engraved, an incised figure or inscription; also figurative an imprint, record, trace.
  • footstepping 1610–70 A vestige or trace of something; = footstep , n. 2.
  • resent 1610 A savour; a trace. rare .
  • ghost 1613– A faint appearance or insubstantial semblance; a slight trace or vestige of a thing. Cf. shadow , n. II.6h.
  • impression 1613–58 A mark, trace, indication. Obsolete .
  • remark 1624–1864 A mark or indication of a quality; a remaining trace of something. Obsolete .
  • footprint 1625– figurative and in figurative contexts. An impression or trace of something.
  • studdle 1635 A mark or impression left by something; = staddle , n. 6. Obsolete . rare .
  • vestigium 1644– Const. of .
  • relict 1646– A thing or (occasionally) a person that has survived or is left over from an earlier period; a relic or trace of some era, system, belief, etc.
  • perception 1650 A perceptible trace or vestige. Obsolete . rare .
  • vestigiary 1651 A vestige or trace.
  • track 1657–94 figurative . = trace , n.¹ 6, 7 Obsolete .
  • symptom 1722– With negative expressed or implied: A slight, or the least, sign of something; a trace, vestige.
  • signacle 1768–90 Scottish . A trace, a vestige; (also) a small quantity. Cf. sign , n. II.11.
  • ray 1773– A trace of something.
  • vestigia 1789 Error for vestigium , n.
  • footmark 1800– figurative . An impression or indication left by someone or something; a vestige, a trace.
  • souvenir 1844–93 A slight trace or vestige of something. Obsolete . rare .
  • latent 1920– In forensic science: a latent impression (see sense A.7b); esp. a latent fingerprint.
  • shadow ?c1225– figurative . An unreal appearance; a delusive semblance or image; a vain and unsubstantial object of pursuit. Often contrasted with substance .
  • shade 1297– figurative . An unsubstantial image of something real; an unreal appearance; something that has only a fleeting existence, or that has become reduced…
  • moonshine 1468– Appearance without substance; something unsubstantial or unreal; (now) esp. foolish or fanciful talk, ideas, plans, etc. Originally †moonshine in the …
  • fume 1531– Something comparable to smoke or vapour as being unsubstantial, transient, imaginary, etc.
  • show 1547– A false, misleading, or illusory appearance of a quality, emotion, etc.; a semblance. Also as a mass noun: mere semblance. Frequently in to have (als …
  • eggs in moonshine ?1558–1660 Cookery . A dish consisting of egg yolks on a sweet base, popular in the 16th and 17th centuries; also used allusively with reference to sense A.2a…
  • smoke 1559– In proverbial, figurative, or allusive uses. Used to designate anything having no real value or substance, or a mere shadow of something.
  • sign 1597–1796 With of . A mere semblance; an imperfect or inferior version. Obsolete .
  • umbra 1635– A mere shadow of something. In quot. 1635 figurative .
  • parhelion 1636– figurative . Something resembling or reminiscent of a parhelion.
  • bogle 1793– figurative and transferred . A thing unsubstantial, a mere phantom.
  • simulacrum 1805– Something having merely the form or appearance of a certain thing, without possessing its substance or proper qualities.
  • phantasmagoria 1822 A phantasmagoric figure. Obsolete . rare .
  • spectre 1849– A faint shadow or imitation of something.
  • spece c1330–1548 A part, portion, or share; a touch or trace.
  • taste 1390–1897 figurative . A slight experience, received or given; a slight show or sample of any condition or quality.
  • lisoun c1400 ? Glimpse; trace.
  • savour c1400– Character, type; a characteristic quality, esp. a slight admixture of such a quality; a hint, trace, or tinge of something.
  • smatch a1500– A slight indication, suggestion, or tincture of some quality, etc.
  • spice 1531– A slight touch, trace, or share, a dash or flavour, of some thing or quality.
  • smack 1539– transferred . A trace, tinge, or suggestion of something specified.
  • shadow 1586– figurative . A slight or faint appearance, a small insignificant portion, a trace.
  • surmise 1586–1837 A ‘suspicion’, slight trace ( of something).
  • relish 1590–1852 Trace or tinge of some quality; a seasoning; a small quantity. Obsolete .
  • tang 1593– figurative . A slight ‘smack’ of some quality, opinion, habit, form of speech, etc.; a ‘suspicion’, a suggestion; a trace, a touch of something.
  • touch 1597– A small amount of some quality, attribute, or ingredient; a dash or trace of something.
  • stain 1609–16 figurative . A slight trace or tinge of . Obsolete .
  • tincture 1612–1858 A slight infusion ( of some element or quality; a tinge, a shade, a flavour, a trace; a smattering ( of knowledge, etc.).
  • dash a1616– A small quantity ( of something) thrown into or mingled as a qualifying admixture with something else; an infusion, touch, tinge. Usually figurative .
  • soul a1616– Applied to a thing. An element, principle, or trace of something.
  • twang a1640– figurative . A trace or suggestion of some specified origin, quality, or the like; a ‘smack’, touch, tinge; a taint; = tang , n.¹ II.6.
  • whiff 1644– transferred and figurative . A ‘breath’, ‘blast’, ‘burst’.
  • haut-goût 1650–1710 figurative . ‘Flavour’, ‘spice’.
  • cast a1661– A ‘dash’ of some ingredient or quality.
  • stricture a1672–95 A touch, slight trace. Obsolete .
  • tinge 1736– figurative . A trace of a feeling or quality.
  • tinct 1752– figurative . A touch, trace, tinge ( of something): = tincture , n. 4.
  • vestige 1756– A very small or slight trace, indication, or amount ( of something); a particle, a scrap.
  • smattering 1764 A slight trace or symptom. Obsolete . rare .
  • soupçon 1766– A suspicion, a suggestion, a very small quantity or slight trace, of something.
  • smutch 1776– A slight mark or indication; semblance; also, a slight or light touch.
  • shade 1791– A tinge, a minute qualifying infusion (of some quality); colloquially, a minute quantity or portion added or removed.
  • suspicion 1809– A slight or faint trace, very small amount, ‘hint’, ‘suggestion’ ( of something).
  • lineament 1811 A minute portion, a trace; plural elements, rudiments. Obsolete .
  • trait 1815– A ‘touch’ of some quality. Now rare .
  • tint 1817– figurative in various senses; esp. Quality, character, kind; a slight imparted or modifying character, a ‘tinge’ of something.
  • trace 1827– An indication of the presence of a minute amount of some constituent in a compound; a quantity so minute as to be inferred but not actually…
  • skiff 1839– A slight sketch, trace, touch, etc., of something.
  • spicing 1844–
  • smudge a1871– A slight sign or indication ( of laughter, etc.).
  • ghost 1887– A faint appearance or insubstantial semblance; a slight trace or vestige of a thing. Cf. shadow , n. II.6h.
I fear yet this iron yoke of outward conformity hath left a slavish print upon our necks; the ghost of a linnen decency yet haunts us.
If I go to the bar, the ghost of this curs'd comedy will follow, and hunt me in Westminster-hall.
The ‘coalition’, the ghost of which he supposed had haunted the gentleman's..imagination.
There was a rival kind of Modernism that professed a desire to destroy the monuments, to destroy the past. But the ghost of canonicity haunts even these iconoclasts.
The ghost of memory always hovers, betraying people too young for nostalgia and rewiring the future so that it looks an awful lot like the past.
The dauch always left a large guest ; whereas the coal burnt into a fine white ash.
Mr R. sat by the side of the expiring fire, seemingly contemplating the gaists and cinders which lay scattered over the hearth.
‘G'wa', stapp some gase atween yer taes’, said an old pit-woman to a lad who complained that the skin between his toes had got broken through working among water, ‘and that'll soon heal them’.
  • coal Old English– A burnt or partially burnt piece of carbonized fuel which is not now glowing or burning; esp. a partially consumed piece of fuel that retains…
  • cinder 1530– The residue of a combustible substance, esp. coal, after it has ceased to flame, and so also, after… esp. A small piece of coal from which the…
  • ghost 1807–1912 Scottish . A piece of dead coal that is white instead of glowing or burning (cf. dead coal ). Also: the white cinders left after coal has burnt. Obs …
  • ghost-coal 1824 A piece of dead coal that is white instead of glowing or burning; = ghost , n. A.V.16.
No light is lost, as in the usual construction, by inner reflections, and there is no formation of the false image or ‘ ghost ’ of planets and the brighter stars.
You will perceive one, two, three, etc., illuminated circles move across the field of vision over the picture—these are ghosts .
A prism or first-surface mirror eliminates mirror ghosts .
The HRMA [ sc. high resolution mirror assembly] baffles are designed to reject non-reflected ghost rays, and to prevent single reflection ghosts from hitting within the central 14′ of the focal plane.
A ghost can be an image of the object, an image of the aperture stop, i.e. a pupil, or an image of the light sensor.
  • ghost 1851– Optics . A spot, shape, or duplicate image appearing at the focal plane of an optical device, produced by spurious reflections resulting from…
  • solarization 1853– Photography . The injurious effect produced by over-exposing a negative to the action of light, resulting in the reversal of the image; a similar…
  • flare 1867– Photography . (See quot. 1968). Also, a similar appearance in the object-glass of a telescope.
  • bronzing 1868– (See quots.)
  • ghost image 1872– A faint, transient, secondary, or spurious image caused by reflection, equipment defect, etc. (cf. ghost , n. A.V.17).
  • shine 1880– Painting and Photography . Shininess; a shiny patch.
  • orthochromatism 1889– The condition of being orthochromatic ( orthochromatic , adj. 1).
  • false image 1892– Counterfeit, simulated, sham. An extra image made on the plate by a defective lens at the same time as the image proper.
  • flare-spot 1893– = flare , n.¹ 3).
  • halo 1941– A more or less circular bright or dark area formed in various photographic processes (see quots.).
  • acutance 1952– The sharpness of a photographic or printed image; a numerical measure of this.
On the ghosts in Rutherfurd's diffraction-spectra.
Prof. Rowland's plates..were free from ‘ ghosts ’ caused by periodicity in the ruling.
This reduced considerably the stray light which caused so much noise with the original cell, and was also responsible, incidentally, for the two ‘ ghost ’ bands erroneously assigned to ozone.
The spectrum produced has numerous ghosts spaced at multiples of \(\displaystyle \frac{λ}{md}\) and of various intensities.
In order that the shutter cut as small a percentage of the light as is practical without developing a ‘ travel ghost ’ (white streaks shooting up or down from white objects in the picture or from letters in a title), the shutter is made narrow.
Ghost , vertical streaks on high-lights in a projected picture, arising from incorrect phasing of the rotary shutter with respect to the moving film.
When, as happens on rare occasions, this timing gets off, or out of exact synchrony, what will be the visible result on the film image? It will be what is known among cine technicians as a ‘ shutter ghost ’, or ‘ghost image’.
Shutter ghost ( travel ghost ) is the streak or blur that occurs to an image resulting from any vertical motion of film in the gate as the projector shutter opens.
Ghosts below the white square indicate the shutter is opening too soon; ghosts above the white square indicate the shutter is closing too late.
When marked fading occurred, the normally clear [television] reproduction was accompanied by ‘ ghosts ’ or additional images which faded in and out.
The ‘ ghosts ’ represented energy which had traveled from the transmitter upward to the Heaviside..whence it was reflected to the receiver.
After a rain storm of static and a flutter of television ‘ ghosts ’ we were able to recognise LBJ.
They [ sc. digital transmissions] maintain an image as sharp as the one originally passed to the transmitter, and they don't suffer from ghosts .
  • multiple image 1863– A composite image comprising two or more superimposed or adjacent images originally distinct (e.g. resulting from the repeated reflection of…
  • ghosting 1919– The appearance of a secondary or ghost image, esp. on a television or display screen (cf. ghost , n. A.V.17d, ghost image , n. ).
  • ghost 1927– Television . A displaced duplicate image on a television screen produced by an additional copy of an analogue signal, resulting from reflection or…
  • flicker 1933– Cinematography and Television . A succession of sudden, abrupt changes in a picture, such as occurs when the number of frames per second is too…
  • ion spot 1936– (a) A small area struck by a beam of ions; (b) a dark spot in the middle of the screen of a cathode ray tube where the phosphor is damaged as a…
  • halation 1937– An effect consisting of a series of halos of diminishing brightness surrounding the edges of a bright image on the screen of a cathode ray tube…
  • blooming 1940– Television . (See quots.)
  • shading 1940– A spurious variation in brightness over parts of a televised image. Frequently attributive .
  • misregistration 1942– Wrong or imperfect registration; esp. misalignment of colours in relation to one another, in printed matter (cf. misregister , n. ) or in the…
  • snow 1946– Applied to various things or substances having the colour or appearance of snow. Spots that appear as a flickering mass filling a television or…
  • snowstorm 1948– figurative . An appearance of dense snow on a television or radar screen. Cf. snow , n.¹ II.5f.
  • ringing 1949– Electronics . The phenomenon of transient damped oscillation occurring in a circuit at its resonant frequency as a result of a sudden change in…
  • streaking 1956– Television . A picture condition in which the trailing edges of areas of a particular colour are extended by streaks of the complementary colour.
  • strobing 1961– Television . An irregular movement and loss of continuity sometimes seen in lines and stripes in a television picture.
  • flickering 1968– The action of flicker , v. in various senses.
Ghost signals , signals appearing on the screen of the RADAR indicator, the cause of which cannot be readily determined.
Another distortion is called a ‘ ghost ’ or ‘phantom echo’. Its images do not follow the characteristics of normal echoes and for which definite targets cannot be found.
Common examples are ambiguities in range and Doppler measurements..and the ghosts produced by scanning with two fan beams which are oriented at right angles to each other.
Algorithmic procedures were established to allow such ghosts to be removed.
  • range mark 1942– Radar . = range marker , n. 4.
  • ghost 1943– A spurious signal on a radar screen that does not correspond to an object at the indicated location.
  • pip 1944– A sharp, narrow, usually small spike or deflection on a line displayed on an oscilloscope or radar screen.
  • range marker 1944– Radar . A visual indication of distance on a radar screen. Cf. range ring , n.
  • blip 1945– A small elongated mark projected on a radar screen.
  • clutter 1945– Unwanted images on a radar screen.
  • sea return 1945– Unwanted radar images due to reflection from a rough sea.
  • sea clutter 1946– = sea return , n. ( s ) below.
  • angel 1947– An unexplained radar echo; also angel echo . Chiefly in plural .
The first defect appeared when basic solvents were used on Whatman No. 1 or No. 4 papers. ‘ Ghost ’ spots of the esters remained on the ‘starting line’, and more or less serious trails were left behind the moving spots.
The additional artifact structures ( ghost echoes) were caused by multiple reflections of the sound beam.
When we shoot below the surface on land, we sometimes have a significant ghost problem from seismic waves from the shot traveling upward and being reflected back downward either at the base of weathering or from the surface.
Ghost artifact, also called double-image artifact and split-image artifact, is a common artifact in pelvic examinations in women.
The ghost cells recently described at the meeting of the British Medical Association in Cork, are also to be demonstrated by this method in blood a month sealed.
The parenchymatous tissue of the endosperm portions..is completely disintegrated, the cell-walls either entirely disappearing or remaining in a much swollen and altered form as mere ‘ ghosts ’.
Whether this increase of permeability persists when the corpuscles have been reduced to ghosts by the escape of hæmoglobin I am unable to say.
The ghosts have a host range specificity similar to that of the virus from which they were derived. [ Note ] The word ‘ghost’ has been used because of its obvious relationship to the red cell ghost produced in a somewhat similar manner. It consists of the deflated head and the tail.
The protoplasmic contents are released in to the surrounding medium leaving the empty ghost cells .
A single stained fetal cell is seen against a background of ghosts of maternal cells.
  • septum 1720– Biology . A thin structure forming a dividing wall or partition between parts of a plant.
  • internal membrane 1839– Cell Biology . The cell membrane of a plant cell, contained within the cell wall (now rare ); a membrane contained within a cell or organelle.
  • cell wall 1840– A rigid layer present outside the cell membrane in plants, fungi, algae, and many bacteria, consisting mainly of cellulose and other…
  • valve 1852– Botany . Each of the two siliceous cell walls of a diatom, similar in shape but slightly different in size, with one overlapping the other.
  • periplast 1853– Originally: †a cell wall ( obsolete ). Now: spec. the wall of a unicellular organism, esp. that of an alga of the division Cryptophyta , consisting of…
  • stroma 1872– The spongy colourless framework of a red blood corpuscle or other cell.
  • ghost 1879– Biology . The cell wall or membrane of a cell that has lost its cytoplasmic contents (more fully ghost cell ). Also: a bacteriophage with a head end…
  • endoplasmic reticulum 1883– Cell Biology . A network of structures within the cytoplasm of a cell; esp. (more fully endoplasmic reticulum ) a system of membranes in the form of…
  • plasma membrane 1893– A semipermeable lipid bilayer with incorporated proteins which forms the external boundary of the cytoplasm of a cell (the cell membrane), or…
  • plasmalemma 1923– A lipid bilayer surrounding the cytoplasm of a cell; a plasma membrane, a cell membrane; esp. one immediately within the wall of a plant cell.
  • unit membrane 1958– A thin, semipermeable lipid bilayer with incorporated proteins, that encloses cells (= cell membrane , n. ) and some organelles; spec. (now historical …
  • purple membrane 1968– A membrane containing photoactive pigments which is produced under certain conditions in the archaebacterium Halobacterium salinarium .
It was also large in pattern, frequently occurred in those long white lines, rich in sulphur and phosphorus, which are technically known as ‘ Ghosts ’.
A ghost is due to local segregation of impurities during the solidification of the ingot.
The ghost structure is emphasized here by bringing the object slightly out of microscopic focus.
Mr. Sairson, will you do a ‘ ghost ’ for me to paste in my album? Your signature ought to make a very apparent and robust apparition... You take a piece of paper and fold it lengthwise, then write your signature along the crease, and whilst the ink is wet, press the two folds together. When this is opened again it leaves an impression which some call the skeleton, other the ghost , of the signature. Some of these are most weird.
On the back of one ‘ ghost ’ there is a note in the Author's hand.
  • ghost 1914–29 An impression of a signature made by folding over the paper on which it is written while the ink is still wet. Obsolete .
Instead of goodbye it's: ‘ I'm ghost .’
I ain't never seen a broad get ghost like you, no calls, no beeps, no nothing.
Fuck it, I'm out. I'm ghost . I decide to sneak out quietly.
My school counselor has gone ghost during college app season, when us seniors need him the most.
  • flee Old English– To withdraw hastily, take oneself off, go away. Also with away . Const. from , out of . Also, To swerve from (a commandment); to keep free from (a…
  • run Old English– To move rapidly away (from somewhere). intransitive . To retire or retreat rapidly ( from a place, person, etc.); to flee, take to flight; to…
  • swerve a1225–1540 intransitive . To depart; to make off. Obsolete . rare .
  • biweve c1275 intransitive . To hurry away.
  • skip 1338– To hasten, hurry, move lightly and rapidly; to make off, abscond. Also with out and as to skip it . Now colloquial .
  • streek c1380– intransitive . To go or advance quickly; to go at full speed; to decamp. Also with away , off , etc. Cf. stretch , v. III.10 (The verb is, in this…
  • warp a1400–00 intransitive . To go hastily, fling away . Of wind: To rise up . Obsolete .
  • yern a1400 intransitive . = run , v. I.i.1, I.i.7, I.i.8.
  • smolt c1400 intransitive . To make off, go, escape, etc.
  • step c1460– colloquial . To go away, make off. Cf. sense I.3c. Also to step it .
  • to flee (one's) touch ?1515–1626 to flee (one's) touch : to make off, escape; (also) to break faith, break a promise (cf. phrases P.1c, phrases P.1d.i). Obsolete .
  • skirr 1548– intransitive . To run hastily ( away ); to flee, make off; = scour , v.¹ 1c.
  • rub c1550–1844 intransitive . slang . To run or make off ; to go forth . Also without following adverb. Obsolete .
  • to make away a1566–1891 intransitive . To depart, go away; (also) spec. to go away suddenly or hastily, run away; = to make off at phrasal verbs PV.1.
  • lope 1575– intransitive . To run, run away. Now only slang and dialect (see English Dial. Dict. ).
  • scuddle 1577– intransitive . To run away hastily, to scuttle. ‘A low word’ (Johnson, 1755).
  • scour a1592–1753 (Without adverb.) To depart in haste, run away, decamp. (Chiefly colloquial or slang .) Obsolete .
  • to take the start 1600–1869 to take the start : (a) To depart, set off, decamp; (b) to take the lead (= to get the start at phrases P.3). Obsolete .
  • to walk off 1604– intransitive . To depart, esp. suddenly or abruptly.
  • to break away a1616 intransitive . To start away with abruptness and force; to go off abruptly; to escape by breaking from restraint. Also figurative .
  • to make off 1652– intransitive . To depart or leave a place, esp. suddenly or hastily; to hasten or run away; to decamp, bolt.
  • to fly off 1667– to fly off : literal to start away; ‘to revolt’ (Johnson); figurative to take another course; to break away (from an agreement or engagement).
  • scuttle 1681 intransitive . To run with quick, hurried steps. Chiefly with away , off .
  • whew 1684– intransitive . To move quickly; to hurry away, depart abruptly ( dialect ); to bustle about ( U.S. ).
  • scamper 1687–1833 intransitive . To run away, decamp, ‘bolt’. Obsolete .
  • whistle off 1689– whistle off : to go off, go away (suddenly or lightly). colloquial ? Obsolete .
  • brush 1699– intransitive . To burst away with a rush, move off abruptly, be gone, decamp, make off.
  • to buy a brush 1699–1837 slang (originally cant ). to buy a brush : to make good one's escape; to make a speedy departure; to leave, to clear off. Cf. brush , v.¹ 3. Obsolete .
  • to take (its, etc.) wing 1704– figurative . To ‘take flight’, take one's departure, make off, flee.
  • decamp 1751– To go away promptly or suddenly; to make off at once, take oneself off: often said of criminals and persons eluding the officers of the law.
  • to take (a) French leave 1751– to take (†a) French leave : to depart unnoticed or without permission; (also spec. in military contexts) to escape or take flight; to desert, to…
  • morris 1765– intransitive . slang ( English regional in later use.) To move away rapidly; to decamp; (also) †to die ( obsolete ). Also with off .
  • to rush off 1794– intransitive . To leave in a hurry.
  • to hop the twig 1797– to hop the twig : to depart, go off, or be dismissed suddenly; (also simply to hop , to hop off ) to die. to hop the wag : to play truant. slang .
  • to run along 1803– intransitive . To depart about one's business; to go away. Frequently in imperative, esp. in the phrase run along (with you)! (often used to…
  • scoot 1805– slang or colloquial . To go suddenly and swiftly, to dart; to go away hurriedly. Often with adverbs.
  • to take off 1815– intransitive . To depart quickly or suddenly; to run away; to go off. Cf. sense IV.iv.60b.
  • speel a1818– intransitive . To go fast; to run away , make off. Chiefly Australian in later use.
  • to cut (also make, take) one's lucky 1821– to cut (also make, take) one's lucky : to get away, escape; to decamp.
  • to make (take) tracks (for) 1824– Phrases. in one's tracks , on the spot where one is at the moment; instantly, immediately. on the right track , having the right idea; heading in the…
  • absquatulize 1829–40 intransitive and transitive = absquatulate , v.
  • mosey 1829– intransitive . Originally: to go away quickly or promptly; to make haste (now rare ). Later usually: to walk in a leisurely or aimless manner; to…
  • absquatulate 1830– intransitive . To abscond, make off. Also occasionally transitive with it as object.
  • put 1834– intransitive . colloquial (originally and chiefly U.S. ). To leave in haste, make off, ‘scram’. Frequently with for . See also to put off 8b, to put out …
  • streak 1834– With it .
  • vamoose 1834– intransitive . To depart, make off, decamp, disappear.
  • to put out 1835– intransitive . Chiefly U.S. To depart, leave, esp. in haste; to make off; to set out for . Now rare .
  • cut 1836– slang or colloquial ( intransitive ) To run away, make off, ‘be off’. Also to cut it . (See also to cut and run at sense VIII.41.) Originally with away …
  • stump it 1841– slang . ‘To go on foot’ ( Slang Dict. 1859); also stump it (in quot. 1841 to be off, decamp).
  • scratch 1843– figurative . intransitive . To depart in haste, to make off with all speed. Frequently const. for . U.S. colloquial .
  • scarper 1846– intransitive . To depart hastily, run away; to escape, make one's get-away.
  • to vamoose the ranch 1847– transitive . To decamp or disappear from; to quit hurriedly. Frequently in to vamoose the ranch . U.S.
  • hook 1851– intransitive . To move with a sudden turn or twist. Now slang or dialect . To make off. Also to hook it and ( New Zealand ) to hook off .
  • shoo 1851– To hasten away, as after being ‘shooed at’.
  • slide 1859– colloquial . To make off. Originally U.S.
  • get 1861– intransitive . colloquial (originally and chiefly U.S. regional ). Frequently in form git . Without… To be off, ‘clear out’. Also: to make speed.
  • to cut and run 1861– to cut and run ( Nautical ): see quot. 1794; ( slang or colloquial ) to make off promptly, hurry off. Also as attributive . phr.
  • skedaddle 1862– In general use: To go away, leave, or depart hurriedly; to run away, ‘clear out’.
  • bolt 1864– To dart off or away, make off with oneself, take flight, escape; to rush suddenly off or away . gen. of people or animals. spec. of a rabbit, fox…
  • cheese it 1866– transitive . To discontinue (an action). Chiefly in imperative in cheese it : stop it, leave off, run away; (formerly also) be silent.
  • to do a bunk c1870– In slang phrase to do a bunk : to make an escape; to depart hurriedly.
  • to wake snakes 1872– In figurative or allusive uses. to wake snakes , (a) (See quot. 1872); (b) to rouse oneself, to look lively; (c) see wake , v. III.8c; to have snake …
  • bunk 1877– To be off. Also with about .
  • nit 1882– intransitive . To escape, decamp; to hurry away. Also transitive with it as object.
  • to pull one's freight 1884– U.S. regional (chiefly western ). to pull one's freight : to depart, esp. quickly; to get going. Now rare .
  • to get the (also to) hell out (of) 1885– to get the (also to) hell out (of) : to make a hasty retreat, esp. in order to avoid or preclude trouble.
  • fooster 1892– ( intransitive ) to bustle off .
  • smoke 1893– Australian slang . = slope , v.² 1. Also const. off .
  • mooch 1899– intransitive . English regional . To clear off, depart swiftly. Also in imperative : ‘get lost!’, ‘scram!’.
  • skyhoot 1901– intransitive . To move suddenly and swiftly; to dart; to depart hurriedly. Also of a price, cost, etc.: to rise rapidly or to an exorbitant degree.
  • to fly the coop 1901– to fly the coop : to escape or elope; to leave suddenly; to fly the track : to turn from the usual or expected course. U.S. colloquial .
  • shemozzle 1902– intransitive . To depart quickly or suddenly; to make off.
  • to light a shuck 1905– to light a shuck : to leave in a hurry, to hurry away.
  • to beat it 1906– to beat it : to go away, to ‘clear out’. Originally U.S.
  • pooter 1907– intransitive . To depart in a hurry; to bustle or hurry off .
  • to take a run-out powder 1909– U.S. to take a run-out powder ( colloquial ): to leave; to flee, abscond; cf. powder , n.¹ phrases P.3.
  • blow 1912– To go away, to leave hurriedly. slang (originally U.S. ).
  • to buzz off 1914– slang . To go (quickly). to buzz off : to go off or away quickly. Also to buzz in : to come in (quickly), to enter.
  • to hop it 1914– to hop it : to be off, go away quickly.
  • skate 1915– colloquial . To depart speedily.
  • beetle 1919– intransitive . To fly off; to go, make one's way, move (like a beetle); frequently with off , away , etc.
  • scram 1928– intransitive . To depart quickly. Frequently imperative .
  • amscray 1931– intransitive . To depart quickly, to scram. Chiefly in imperative .
  • boogie 1940– intransitive . Originally U.S. To move or go, esp. in a hurry; to escape. Frequently with down , on , out . Cf. bug , v.³ 1. Also figurative .
  • skidoo 1949– intransitive . To go away, leave, or depart hurriedly. Frequently imperative .
  • bug 1950– intransitive . Frequently with out . To run away, flee; to retreat hurriedly.
  • do a flit 1952– The action of flitting. A removal; spec. do a flit , to decamp.
  • to do a scarper 1958– In to do a scarper , to run away, ‘do a bunk’.
  • to hit, split or take the breeze 1959– Slang phrases: to hit, split or take the breeze : to depart; to get (have)or put the breeze up : to get or put the wind up (see wind , n.¹ II.10b).
  • to do a runner 1980– to do a runner : to escape by running away, to abscond; (hence) to depart hastily or furtively, esp. in order to avoid something or someone.
  • to be (also get, go) ghost 1986– U.S. colloquial (originally and chiefly in African American usage). to be (also get, go) ghost : to leave a place or situation, esp. suddenly or…
  • nope 2011– intransitive . With out : to withdraw from or exit an unpleasant or undesirable situation, esp. hastily or definitively; to put an abrupt end to.
Se casere hi het gemartyrian, ond God wuldriende heo ageaf hire gast.
He ȝaff hiss fule gast To farenn inn till helle.
With þusse worde he ȝaf þene gost .
Jhesus eftsoone criede with a greet voyce, and ȝaf vp the goost [ E.V. c 1384 Douce MS. 369(2) sente out the spirit; Latin emisit spiritum ] .
He gasped thryse, and gaue away the ghost .
Hee instantly gave up the ghost with these words, Gods wounds, I am slain!
It was his last Wish..He breathed it out, and gave up the Ghost .
A tiger..shot through the heart..is still capable of killing half-a-dozen men before giving up the ghost .
His mother died soon after, giving up the ghost with a sigh that sounded positively happy, for it was her own son who ministered to her in her last illness.
[She] was so seriously sick that many of her colleagues thought she would give up the ghost .
  • adead Old English–1400 intransitive . To die. Also in extended use and figurative .
  • dead Old English–1425 To become dead. literal . To die.
  • die Old English– intransitive . To lose life, cease to live, suffer death; to expire.
  • fall Old English– intransitive . To drop down dead; to be killed; esp. to die in battle or on active service. Also occasionally: †to be wounded ( obsolete ). Cf. fallen …
  • forfere Old English–1400 intransitive . To perish.
  • forswelt Old English–1225 intransitive . To die, perish.
  • forthfare Old English–1375 To decease, die.
  • forworth Old English–1340 intransitive . To perish, come to nought, go wrong.
  • i-wite Old English–1275 intransitive . To go away, depart; to decease, die.
  • quele Old English–1398 intransitive . To die.
  • starve Old English–1657 intransitive . Of a person or animal: to die. Also figurative of the soul. Obsolete .
  • swelt Old English– To die, perish.
  • to go (also depart , pass, i-wite, chare) out of this world Old English– to go (also depart, pass, †i-wite, †chare) out of this world and variants: to die.
  • to shed (one's own) blood Old English– With pregnant sense. (a) to shed the blood of (another person or persons): to kill in a manner involving effusion of blood; often loosely , to kill…
  • to take (also nim, underfo) (the) death Old English–1488 to take (also nim, underfo) (the) death : to meet one's death, to die. Obsolete .
  • wend Old English–1800 intransitive . To depart from life; to die. Usually with adverb or prepositional phrase, as to wend from (also †of) life , to wend hence , to wend ou …
  • wite Old English–1532 intr. To go, go away , depart; to perish, vanish away .
  • end c1175– To die. rare in modern use. Also to end up ( slang ).
  • fare c1175–1400 In wider sense = go , v. To depart from life; to die. Obsolete .
  • to give up the ghost c1175– Of a person or animal: to die. Cf. sense A.I.1.
  • let c1200–1587 To lose (one's life, virtue, honour, etc.). Obsolete .
  • aswelt a1250–1300 intransitive . To perish, die, become extinct.
  • leave a1250– transitive . To part with, be deprived of, lose. Chiefly in to leave one's life and variants.
  • to-swelt c1275 ( intransitive ) to perish, die.
  • to-worth c1275 intransitive . To come to nought; to perish.
  • to yield (up) the ghost (soul, breath, life, spirit) c1290– to yield (up) the ghost (soul, breath, life, spirit) : to ‘give up the ghost’, die, expire. archaic .
  • fine a1300–1535 intransitive . To come to an end, pass away; to cease to exist. Also: to come to the end of one's life; to die.
  • spill a1300–1592 intransitive . To perish; to be destroyed or lost. Obsolete .
  • part ?1316– intransitive . Frequently with hence, out of this life , etc.: to die. Cf. depart , v. II.7. Now rare and formal .
  • to leese one's life-days a1325 A day or some period of a person's life; (chiefly in plural ) a person's life or lifetime, ‘(all) the days of (one's) life’.
  • to nim the way of death c1325 In figurative contexts which consciously retain the idea of travelling, frequently (esp. in early use) with regard to a person's spiritual journey…
  • tine c1330– intransitive . To be lost, ruined, or destroyed; to perish: = lose , v.¹ 1.
  • to tine, leave, lose the sweat c1330–1513 The life-blood: in to tine, leave, lose the sweat : to lose one's life-blood, die. Obsolete .
  • flit 1340 intransitive . To shift one's position, either in a material or immaterial sense; to be gone, depart, pass away, remove. Also with away , or const. f …
  • trance 1340–1632 intransitive . (a) To ‘pass away’, to die. (b) To swoon, faint. (c) To be in extreme dread, doubt, or suspense. Obsolete .
  • determine c1374– intransitive (for reflexive ). To come to an end; to cease to exist or be in force; to expire, to die. (Now chiefly in Law .)
  • disperish a1382–82 intransitive . To perish utterly.
  • to go the way of all the earth a1382– to go the way of all the earth (also world) : to die. Also (in quot. 1600 and allusions to it) to walk the way of nature .
  • to be gathered to one's fathers 1382– In the Biblical phrase to be gathered to one's fathers (also to be gathered to one's people ): to be buried with one's ancestors; hence, to die.
  • miscarry c1387–1749 intransitive . To come to harm, suffer misfortune, perish; (of a person) to meet with death; (of an inanimate object) to be lost or destroyed. Obsolete …
  • shut 1390 figurative ( transitive ) To close (one's life). Obsolete .
  • go a1393– intransitive . Simply: to depart from life, die. Cf. to go away 2a at phrasal verbs 2a, to go off 6a at phrasal verbs 6a, to go under 2 at phrasal…
  • expire a1400– intransitive . Of a person or animal: To breathe one's last; to die.
  • flee a1400 To depart this life.
  • to die up a1400–1570 To die off entirely, to perish. Obsolete .
  • to pass away a1400– intransitive . In early use: (of a person's soul or life) to depart from the body. Later: (of a person) to die. Cf. to pass out at phrasal verbs PV.1.
  • to seek out of life a1400–50 To go, move, proceed (in a specified direction). Widely used in Middle English; e.g. to seek up , to rise (from a sitting posture); to seek asunder …
  • to sye hethen a1400– to sye hethen (= hence) or to sye of life , to depart this life, die.
  • espire c1430– ? Mistake for enspire = inspire , v.
  • to end one's days ?a1439– to end one's days : to reach the end of one's life; to die. Cf. sense III.16a.
  • decease 1439– intransitive . To depart from life; to die.
  • to go away ?a1450– intransitive . To die, pass away.
  • ungo c1450 intransitive . To pass away, perish.
  • unlive c1450 intransitive . To die, to cease to exist. Obsolete .
  • to change one's life a1470–1876 to change (one's, this, the) life : to die. Obsolete ( archaic and rare in later use).
  • vade 1495–1678 To pass away, disappear, vanish; to decay or perish; = fade , v.¹ 6.
  • trespass a1500–23 intransitive (in form trepass .) To pass beyond this life; to die. Also transitive in to trepass this life . trepassed , deceased. (The only sense in…
  • depart 1501– intransitive . To leave this world, decease, die, pass away. (Now only to depart from (this) life .)
  • to pay one's debt to (also the debt of) nature a1513– debt to (also of) nature (also †nature's debt ): the necessity of dying, death; to pay one's debt to (also the debt of) nature : to die. Now rare .
  • to decease this world 1515 to decease this world (cf. to depart this life at depart , v. II.8). Obsolete . rare .
  • to go over ?1520– intransitive . To change one's party or allegiance; to transfer from one side to another.
  • jet 1530–1777 intransitive . To go; to walk, stroll. Obsolete .
  • vade 1530–1625 With away .
  • to go west a1532– Originally Scottish ( figurative ) To die.
  • to pick over the perch 1532–1662 To fall. intransitive . to pick over the perch : to fall off one's perch; to pitch forward; ( figurative ) to die. Cf. to peck over the perch at peck , v.² …
  • galp a1535–58 transitive . To vomit forth ; also figurative , to give up (the ghost).
  • to die the death 1535– to die a (specified) death : to die by or suffer a particular death. to die the death : to suffer death, to be put to death.
  • to depart to God 1548 To die and go to heaven. Also to depart to God . In early use also †to fere (or i-wite) to God . Cf. to pass to God at pass , v. II.6a.
  • to go home 1561– To the afterlife, heaven, or some other place of future existence; (also) to the grave. Also in to go home : to die. Cf. home , n.¹ A.I.3, welcome , n.² …
  • mort 1568 intransitive . To die.
  • to play tapple up tail 1570– English regional (chiefly northern ). In phrases with tail as the object of the verb or the prepositional object in a complement of the verb…
  • inlaik c1575– To fail through death; to decease.
  • shuffle 1576– intransitive . To move the feet along the ground without lifting them, so as to make a scraping noise; to walk with such a motion of the feet; to go…
  • finish 1578–1616 To die. Obsolete .
  • relent 1587 intransitive . To give up one's life, to die. Obsolete . rare .
  • to hop (also tip, pitch over, drop off, etc.) the perch 1587– to hop (also tip, pitch over, drop off, etc.) the perch and variants ( slang ): to die.
  • unbreathe 1589– intransitive . To cease to breathe; to expire, die.
  • transpass 1592 intransitive . To pass away, depart, die.
  • to lose one's breath 1596 To incur the privation of (something that one possesses or has control of); to part with through… With object a limb, a faculty, one's life, etc. to …
  • to make a die (of it) 1611– Only in to make a die (of it) = to die.
  • to go off a1616– intransitive . To die, pass away. Now somewhat rare .
  • fail 1623–1878 To die. Obsolete .
  • to go out 1635– intransitive . To die. Chiefly with complement indicating the manner of dying.
  • to peak over the perch a1641 intransitive . to peak over the perch : to fall off one's perch (in quot. 1641 figurative : to die). Obsolete . rare .
  • exit a1652– intransitive . figurative and in figurative contexts; spec. ( literary ) to die, to depart from life.
  • drop 1654– figurative . To die. See also to drop off at phrasal verbs.
  • to knock off a1657– intransitive . To desist, leave off; to cease from one's work or occupation; slang to die.
  • to kick up a1658–1813 intransitive . To die (cf. 1b). Obsolete .
  • to pay nature her due 1657–61 to pay nature her due : to fulfil a physical need; spec. to die. Obsolete . rare .
  • ghost 1666–89 intransitive . To die; = to give up the ghost at ghost , n. & adj. phrases P.1a. Obsolete .
  • to march off 1693–4 to march off . intransitive . To die. Obsolete .
  • pike 1697 intransitive . Now colloquial . To depart; to proceed, go, run ( away , off , etc.); ( figurative ) to die. Also transitive with it as object.
  • to bite the ground (also earth, sand, etc.) 1697 to bite the ground (also earth, sand, etc.) : to fall to the ground as when wounded, esp. fatally; to die. In later use chiefly in to bite the dust …
  • to die off 1697– To go off, be removed or carried off, one after another, by death.
  • tip (over) the perch 1699– to tip off , also simply to tip , or tip (over) the perch : to die. slang or dialect .
  • to drop off 1699– intransitive . To die; = I.5b.
  • to pass (also go, be called, etc.) to one's reward 1703– to pass (also go, be called, etc.) to one's reward and variants: to go to heaven, to die. Also in ironic use.
  • to bite the dust 1712 to bite the dust : (a) To fall to the ground as when wounded, esp. fatally; to die; (b) (more generally; somewhat colloquial ) to come to a disastrous…
  • sink 1718– intransitive . To fail in health or strength; to decline rapidly ( under some trouble or ailment). Formerly also: †to die ( obsolete ).
  • vent 1718 poetic . To pour out (one's soul) in death. Obsolete .
  • to launch into eternity 1719 figurative . To start (a person) in , into , or on a business, career, etc.; to set on foot (a project); to commence (an action). Also with out . to launc …
  • to join the majority 1721– the majority : the dead. Chiefly in phrases to join the majority and to go (also pass over) to the majority : to die. Now rare .
  • demise 1727– intransitive . To resign the crown; to die, decease. rare .
  • to pack off 1735– intransitive . To leave, depart.
  • to slip one's cable 1751– to slip one's cable , to die.
  • turf 1763 transferred . To place or lay under the turf; to cover with turf, or as turf does; to bury; also intransitive with it , to die and be buried.
  • to move off 1764 intransitive . colloquial . To die. Cf. to go off 6a at go , v. phrasal verbs 6a. Obsolete . rare .
  • to pop (off) 1764– slang . intransitive . to pop (off) : to die. Also to pop off the hooks .
  • to hop off 1797– to hop the twig : to depart, go off, or be dismissed suddenly; (also simply to hop , to hop off ) to die. to hop the wag : to play truant. slang .
  • to pass on 1805– intransitive . To proceed from one existence or activity to another; spec. ( euphemistic ) to die.
  • to go to glory 1814– colloquial . to go to glory : to go to heaven; to die.
  • sough 1816– With away : To breathe one's last; to die.
  • to hand in one's accounts 1817–73 U.S. colloquial . to hand in one's accounts : to die. Cf. to go to one's account at sense III.7. Obsolete .
  • to slip one's breath or wind a1819– to slip one's breath or wind , to expire; to die. colloquial .
  • croak 1819– intransitive . slang . To die.
  • stiffen 1820– intransitive . Of persons: To become stiff or rigid; also, to die. Also figurative .
  • weed 1824 Scottish (chiefly literary ). With away . intransitive . To die off, pass away. Obsolete . rare .
  • to buy it 1826– to buy it : to suffer some mishap or reverse; esp. to be wounded; to get killed, to die; to be damaged or destroyed. Cf. sense I.2b, to buy the farm …
  • to drop short 1826– intransitive . colloquial or slang . To die.
  • to fall (a) prey (also victim, sacrifice) to 1839– to fall (a) prey (also victim, †sacrifice) to and variants: to become a victim of; to be harmed, destroyed, or killed by; (now) esp. to be deceived…
  • to get one's (also the) call 1839– figurative . A summons to die; a sign of impending death. Cf. last call , n. 1. Now rare .
  • to drop (etc.) off the hooks 1840– to drop (etc.) off the hooks : to die. slang .
  • to unreeve one's lifeline 1840– transitive . Chiefly Nautical slang . to unreeve one's lifeline : to die.
  • to step out 1844– To die; to disappear. U.S. slang . ? Obsolete .
  • to cash, pass or send in one's checks 1845– A counter used in card games ( U.S. ); hence ( colloquial ) to hand in one's checks : to die. Also to cash, pass or send in one's checks . (Originally…
  • to hand in one's checks 1845– A counter used in card games ( U.S. ); hence ( colloquial ) to hand in one's checks : to die. Also to cash, pass or send in one's checks . (Originally…
  • to go off the handle 1848–72 U.S. To die. Obsolete . rare .
  • to go under 1848– intransitive . Chiefly U.S. slang . To die. Now rare .
  • succumb 1849– spec. To yield to the attacks of a disease, the effect of wounds, an operation, etc.; hence, to die.
  • to turn one's toes up 1851– Phrases (chiefly colloquial and slang ). to turn one's toes up , to die; hence toes up , lying dead.
  • to peg out 1852– intransitive . slang . To die; (formerly also) †to be ruined ( obsolete ).
  • walk 1858 To go away, leave, depart. intransitive . Simply or with † away , forth . Formerly often in imperative in sense ‘begone’, with a vocative of some…
  • snuff 1864– intransitive . To die. slang or colloquial . Also const. out .
  • to go or be up the flume 1865– U.S. , etc. U.S. slang . to go or be up the flume : to ‘come to grief’, ‘be done for’; to die.
  • to pass out c1867– intransitive . To die. Cf. to pass away at phrasal verbs PV.1. Now chiefly U.S. regional .
  • to cash in one's chips 1870– colloquial (originally and chiefly U.S. ). to hand (also pass, cash) in one's chips and variants: to die; (now also more generally) to withdraw or…
  • to go (also pass over) to the majority 1883– the majority : the dead. Chiefly in phrases to join the majority and to go (also pass over) to the majority : to die. Now rare .
  • to cash in 1884– to cash in figurative . To die. (Also without in .) Also with checks as object.
  • to cop it 1884– To ‘catch’ it, to be punished, get into trouble; also, to die.
  • snuff 1885– With it : = 3a. slang .
  • perch 1886 intransitive . slang . To die. Cf. to hop the perch at perch , n.¹ phrases P.2, perch , n.¹ III.6d, percher , n.³ 1. Obsolete . rare .
  • to belly up 1886– intransitive . colloquial (originally U.S. ). to belly up : to turn over or belly upwards; ( figurative ) to fail, become defunct, or give in; to die; to…
  • to kick the bucket 1889– transitive . To strike (anything) with the foot. to kick the wind or clouds , to be hanged ( slang ). to kick the bucket , to die ( slang ): see bucket , n.² …
  • off 1890– intransitive . To go off, make off ( nonstandard or humorous ). Frequently as to up and off . Also transitive , with it : to depart; ( slang ) to die. Cf…
  • to knock over 1892– intransitive . To succumb; to die. colloquial or slang .
  • to pass over 1897– intransitive . figurative . To die.
  • to stop one 1901– colloquial (originally Military ). To be hit by (a bullet). Phrases to stop one : to be hit or killed; to stop a packet : see to cop (also stop, catch, …
  • to pass in 1904– To hand in, return, or cash in (a form of currency). Chiefly figurative ( colloquial ) in to pass in one's cheques (U.S. checks) , to pass in one's chips …
  • the silver cord is loosed 1911– (a) Used in the silver cord is loosed and variants (in allusion to Ecclesiastes xii. 6) to signify the dissolution of life at death; (b) a symbol…
  • to hand in one's marble 1911– Australian slang . to hand (also chuck, throw) in one's marble : to die, to give up. to pass in one's marble : see pass , v.
  • pip 1913– intransitive . To die. Also with out . Now rare .
  • to cross over 1915– To pass over a line, boundary, river, channel, etc.; to pass from one side to the other of any space. intransitive . Biology . to cross over : of…
  • conk 1917– intransitive . To break down, give out, fail, or show signs of failing; to die, collapse, or lose consciousness. Also figurative . Also with out .
  • to check out 1921– intransitive . colloquial (originally and chiefly U.S. ). to check out : to die. Cf. sense IV.16e.
  • to kick off 1921– To die. slang (originally U.S. ).
  • to pack up 1925– intransitive . colloquial (chiefly British ). = to pack in at phrasal verbs.
  • to step off 1926– intransitive . To die. Cf. to step out at phrasal verbs PV.1. slang . rare .
  • to take the ferry 1928– Used in figurative expressions alluding to death, as to take the ferry , etc., with reference to the boat in which Charon transported the spirits of…
  • peg 1931– intransitive . slang . To die; also transitive with it as object. Cf. to peg out 3 at phrasal verbs.
  • to meet one's Maker 1933– to meet one's Maker : (in extended use) to die; (sometimes humorously, of a thing) to be destroyed.
  • to kiss off 1935– Phrases. to kiss off slang , (a) transitive to dismiss, get rid of, kill (see also quot. 1935); (b) intransitive to go away, die.
  • to crease it 1959– transitive . To stun (a horse, etc.) by a shot in the ‘crest’ or ridge of the neck. Also, to stun (a person); to kill; to exhaust physically; to crea …
  • zonk 1968– intransitive . To fail; to lose consciousness, to die.
  • cark 1977– intransitive . To die.
  • to bite it 1977– North American slang . to bite it : = to bite the dust at phrases P.1b.
  • to cark it 1979– transitive . to cark it : to die. (Now the more common use.)
  • to take a dirt nap 1981– Death; an instance of dying. Frequently in to take a dirt nap : to die.
Whatsoeuer good affection or minde they had, it gaue vp the ghost at least when this goodly enterprise of the league began.
With Augustulus it [ sc. the Roman Empire ] gave up the ghost .
My vessels, thou know'st, No sooner are tap'd, but they give up the ghost .
The old mill..has tumbled down and given up the ghost .
A simple, mass-produced car..must be expected to give up the ghost to a procession of rattlings and bonkings soon after it has travelled 50,000 miles.
The path gives up the ghost altogether at times and I reach down between huge boulders that fill the gully.
One Lady's pregnant Brain has slain whole hosts Of Rabbys, and quite laid their Paper ghosts , Which haunted all our Studies.
He hired Conjurers to lay the Ghost of his Mother.
He knows the Secret of laying Ghosts , or of quieting Houses that are haunted.
A Newbury minister..rode..over to Hampton to lay a ghost who had materialized himself.
I used to laugh at ghost-laying until I was faced during World War II with having to lay a ghost in a house in southern England.
He hoped..that their decision..would ratify the former verdict, and lay the ghost of average loss at rest forever in the Red Sea.
It is not my intention to raise, or lay the ghosts of departed objections.
Be my wife and put an end to the matter; lay the ghosts of the past.
She had not been back to Trenalt quarry since that picnic in the summer of 1938. It occurred to her with the force of a revelation that sometimes you had to go back if you wanted to lay ghosts .
Can'st thou not speak? hast thou seen a Ghost ?
‘What the devil ails you?’ exclaimed the ruffian; ‘ have you seen a ghost , that you shiver and shake so?’
Spire..stood thunderstruck at the door. ‘What's the matter with you? Have you seen a ghost ?’ asked Cosmo.
You look dreadful. White as a sheet. Have you seen a ghost ?
Solemn saw me, and started and star'd as if he had seen a Ghost .
You look as if you had seen a ghost . For heaven's sake, act like a rational being, and do not stare about you with that bewildered look.
I opened the door all bleary and this little ginger chap is gaping at me like he's seen a ghost .
Glory? Are you all right? You look like you've seen a ghost .
I might lay this poor disturbed Ghost to rest ; that he should be confined to the Lower Shades, and wander about the World no more.
Dear Mr. S****** pray your best, And lay the Captain's Ghost to rest .
I do not think the good Thomas Flavel, or any other exorciser, could lay my ghost to rest .
Casting out demons and laying ghosts to rest is routine for Dominic Walker, Church of England vicar and exorcist.
I thought we had settled that question for good and for all and laid another controversial ghost to rest .
Mr Bush, who delivered three brief but emotional addresses, spent most of his energy laying the ghosts of the past to rest .
Nora who's spent much of the past few months urging me to get out there and meet someone so that I can lay the ghost of my failed fling with Dillon O'Hara to rest , is a bit down on the whole idea of Adam.
I wrote my first novel..a semi-fictionalised version of my childhood that enabled me to lay at least a few ghosts to rest .
Poore Pierce Pennilesse, haue they turnd to a coniuring booke, for there is not that line in it, with which they doo not seeke to raise vp a Ghost .
Saul commandeth the witch to raise Samuel's ghost .
The object of the last administration was to cherish and nurture religious and political animosities; to raise up the ghost of buried prejudices;..and to divide a uniting people.
We are fighting here against ghosts raised by ourselves.
Santos Casani..is prepared to run round an oak tree 100 times in an endeavour to raise a ghost .
Shady's brother is accused of murder, and the only way to clear his name is to raise the ghost of the person he might have killed.
Efne ic gebringe flodes wæteru ofer eorðan, ðæt ic ofslea eall flæsc on ðam ðe is lifes gast under heofonum.
Alle þat glydez and gotz and gost of lyf habbez.
He took this dose [of opium] every day for some time, and the ghost of life didn't desert him, or the angel of death gather him during this period.
Take now here the ghost of life , And receive both your souls of me.
Death in itself..was perfectly avoidable, since all that was required was refusal to give up the ‘ Ghost of Life ’.
He came over to Ireland; but so pale and dejected, that he looked like the Ghost of his former self .
Our Midsummer Fair on Saturday last was but the ghost of its former self . Some twenty or thirty years ago it was highly distinguished.
To my surprise she was sitting in an armchair beside her bed. Looking however the ghost of her former self .
The country will be laid to waste, its brilliant institutions becoming ghosts of their former selves .
‘The march of intellect’ has advanced too far to leave the ‘ ghost of a chance ’ for their miserable but impudent schemes.
The sailors were kept constantly at the pumps, although so instantaneous was the rush of water into the hold, that they did little or no good; there seemed in fact, not the ghost of a chance left us; even the mate had ceased whistling.
No able-bodied male patriot would stand a ghost of a chance in the matter of getting an office.
I would go back to Finland or Russia or anywhere if I thought I had the ghost of a chance of finding him again.
Just when it seemed that Italy did not have a ghost of a chance of winning the World Cup, Rossi came alive against Brazil.
How the spectre of the Hartford Convention troubles this poor man, and always rises, like Banquo's Ghost at the banquet, before him.
Turning to another column of the same paper we find charges of treason against numerous unknown citizens, acting the part of ghost at this feast , and marring its otherwise glorious features.
Surely, Tolstoism is the ghost at the banquet , unnerving Europe when it is complementing itself on its civilization.
My friends were busy with their families and, as a childless widow, I felt like a ghost at the feast .
‘What on earth is the matter?’ he said; ‘you look as if you had seen a ghost.’ ‘So I have,’ she answered; ‘a ghost from the past .’
Tony was a ghost from her other life , and she..buried her head upon his shoulder.
An old ghost from the past reappeared, the so-called gold hedge share, for currency doubters.
You won't believe who I ran into last week. A ghost from my past : Laurel Arquette.
Much of Kant's value as a philosopher lies in the attempt he made to escape from the philosophical myth which has been named ‘ the ghost in the machine ’.
The dogma of the Ghost in the machine ..maintains that there exist both bodies and minds; that there are mechanical causes of corporeal movements and mental causes of corporeal movements.
Chalmers..thinks that consciousness is the ghost in the machine , the secret irreducible presence in the mind that distinguishes us from computers and goldfish.
  • ghost in the machine 1948– Philosophy . Usually with the . The mind viewed as a different kind of substance or entity from the body.
The bogeyman of the Sixties was the Computer... It was treated as superstitiously as though there were in fact a ghost in the machine .
They think that these ‘ ghosts in the machine ’ are caused by the buildup of high voltages in the circuits and skin of a satellite immersed in the electrically charged plasma of the Earth's magnetosphere.
The geek in me looks forward to the day when I can summon a driverless pod via my phone and be transported to my destination by a ghost in the machine , as it were, with minimal fuss.
This tale has made their hair curl with two visions: the Ghost of Hitler Past and the Ghost of Hitlers Yet to Come .
What is really worrying the markets, however, is the ghost of Budgets future .
So the Workers' City group was presented as an unpatriotic bunch of philistines, the ghost of Stalinist past and workerist future.
The Ghost of Farming Present —Political chaos, wild weather, 24-hour social media and the burden of poor diets mean that many farmers can be forgiven for feeling bewildered and uncertain which way to turn.
On Saturday the actors at Drury Lane were struck with horror to find that no ‘ghost walked’ ; that is, that the treasury was shut.
If I played with applause, it was a matter of indifference whether ‘the ghost’ walked on Saturday or not.
An Actor's Benevolent Fund box placed on the treasurer's desk every day when the ghost walks would get many an odd shilling or sixpence put into it.
There is always one day when no one on the office staff calls in sick. That is the day the ghost walks —payday.
[He] murmurs ‘ The ghost walks ’ in anticipation of payday at the Evening Telegraph.
  • the ghost walks 1831– Originally Theatre slang . the ghost walks and variants: salaries are paid.


Pronunciation keys.

  • ð th ee
  • ɬ rhingy ll

Some consonants can take the function of the vowel in unstressed syllables. Where necessary, a syllabic marker diacritic is used, hence <petal> /ˈpɛtl/ but <petally> /ˈpɛtl̩i/.

  • a trap, bath
  • ɑː start, palm, bath
  • ɔː thought, force
  • ᵻ (/ɪ/-/ə/)
  • ᵿ (/ʊ/-/ə/)

Other symbols

  • The symbol ˈ at the beginning of a syllable indicates that that syllable is pronounced with primary stress.
  • The symbol ˌ at the beginning of a syllable indicates that that syllable is pronounced with secondary stress.
  • Round brackets ( ) in a transcription indicate that the symbol within the brackets is optional.

View the pronunciation model here .

* /d/ also represents a 'tapped' /t/ as in <bitter>

Some consonants can take the function of the vowel in unstressed syllables. Where necessary, a syllabic marker diacritic is used, hence <petal> /ˈpɛd(ə)l/ but <petally> /ˈpɛdl̩i/.

  • i fleece, happ y
  • æ trap, bath
  • ɑ lot, palm, cloth, thought
  • ɔ cloth, thought
  • ɔr north, force
  • ə strut, comm a
  • ər nurse, lett er
  • ɛ(ə)r square
  • æ̃ sal on

Simple Text Respell

Simple text respell breaks words into syllables, separated by a hyphen. The syllable which carries the primary stress is written in capital letters. This key covers both British and U.S. English Simple Text Respell.

b, d, f, h, k, l, m, n, p, r, s, t, v, w and z have their standard English values

  • arr carry (British only)
  • a(ng) gratin
  • o lot (British only)
  • orr sorry (British only)
  • o(ng) salon

Date of use

Variant forms.

  • early Old English gæsð
  • Old English gaas ( Northumbrian , probably transmission error) , gas (perhaps transmission error) , gastastes (genitive, transmission error) , gasð (perhaps transmission error)
  • Old English–early Middle English gæst
  • Old English–Middle English gaast , gast ( northern in later use)
  • early Middle English ȝast
  • early Middle English–1500s gost
  • Middle English gaste ( northern and north midlands ) , goest , goist ( east midlands ) , gosthe , igaste (in a copy of an Old English charter)
  • Middle English–1500s goost , gooste , goste
  • late Middle English–1500s ghoost
  • late Middle English–1600s ghoste
  • late Middle English–1500s ; 1900s– ghooste , ghost
  • 1500s–1600s ghoast , goast
  • 1700s ghest
  • 1800s ghos ( U.S. regional regional, in African American usage)
  • 1800s– ghos' ( U.S. regional , in African American usage)
  • pre-1700 gaast , gast , gayste , gest , ghoist , goist , goost , gost , goste
  • pre-1700 ; 1800s gaste
  • pre-1700 ; 1700s– gaist , ghaist
  • 1800s g'aist
  • 1800s–1900s guest
  • 1900s gase (in sense A.V.16 )

ghost typically occurs about ten times per million words in modern written English.

ghost is in frequency band 6, which contains words occurring between 10 and 100 times per million words in modern written English. More about OED's frequency bands

Frequency of ghost, n. & adj. , 1750–2010

* Occurrences per million words in written English

Historical frequency series are derived from Google Books Ngrams (version 2), a data set based on a corpus of several million books printed in English between 1500 and 2010. The Ngrams data has been cross-checked against frequency measures from other corpora, and re-analysed in order to handle homographs and other ambiguities.

The overall frequency for a given word is calculated by summing frequencies for the main form of the word, any plural or inflected forms, and any major spelling variations.

Frequency of ghost, n. & adj. , 2017–2023

Modern frequency series are derived from a corpus of 20 billion words, covering the period from 2017 to the present. The corpus is mainly compiled from online news sources, and covers all major varieties of World English.

Compounds & derived words

  • All compounds & derived words
  • Curated compounds
  • ghostless , adj. Old English– Of a place: not haunted by ghosts.
  • Holy Ghost , n. Old English– Chiefly with the and capital initials. The Third Person (person, n. III.6a) of the Trinity, God as spiritually active in the world; = Holy Spirit, n…
  • ghosted , adj. c1450– That has been written by a ghostwriter; = ghost-written, adj.
  • ghosty , adj. 1519– Of or relating to ghosts; esp. resembling or reminiscent of a ghost; ghostly, ghost-like; (also of an idea, etc.) faint, remote; cf. ghost, n. A.V.14.
  • ghostishly , adv. c1565– In a ghostly manner.
  • ghost-like , adj. & adv. 1573– Resembling, characteristic of, or reminiscent of a ghost, esp. in appearance.
  • ghost , v. a1616– transitive. To write (a book, article, etc.) for another person, under whose name it is then published. Also in extended use with reference to other…
  • local ghost , n. 1619– A guardian spirit or god associated with a place; = genius loci, n.
  • be-ghost , v. 1620–74 To make a ghost of; to teach (one) how to play the ghost.
  • ghosting , n. 1637– The action of ignoring or pretending not to know a person, esp. that of suddenly ceasing to respond to someone on social media, by text message…
  • ghost god , n. a1638– The deified or revered spirit of a deceased person (cf. ghost-demon, n.).
  • ghostess , n. 1651– A female ghost.
  • ghost-demon , n. 1677– The deified or animate spirit of a deceased person (cf. ghost god, n.).
  • ghostship , n.¹ ?1689– With possessive adjective, as in his ghostship, your ghostship: a mock title of respect for a ghost.
  • ghost story , n. 1730– A story about ghosts or the supernatural, intended to be frightening or thrilling.
  • ghost moth , n. 1776– (Originally) a European moth, Hepialus humuli; (in later use more widely) any of various moths comprising the family Hepialidae.
  • ghostism , n. 1782– Belief in ghosts; spec. the belief that incorporeal spirits (esp. those of the dead) can make themselves known to or communicate with the living…
  • ghost-hunting , n. 1794– The practice or activity of searching for ghosts, poltergeists, etc.; the investigation of supposed paranormal activity.
  • ghost hunter , n. 1796– A person who searches for ghosts, poltergeists, etc.; a person who investigates supposed paranormal activity.
  • ghost-raiser , n. 1798– A person who performs a magic or other ritual intended to summon a ghost; a person who causes a ghost or spirit to appear (cf. to raise (up) a ghost).
  • ghost seer , n. 1799– A person believed to have the ability to see ghosts.
  • ghostish , adj. 1801– Resembling or reminiscent of a ghost or ghostly activity; ghost-like.
  • ghostified , adj. 1806– Haunted by ghosts; spooky.
  • ghost ship , n.² 1806– An apparition of a spectral or phantasmal ship, the sighting of which is often regarded as an ill omen. Cf. ghost train, n. 2a.
  • ghostie , n. 1810– A ghost.
  • ghost swift , n. 1819– (More fully ghost swift moth) a European moth, Hepialus humuli, the male of which has wings with a silvery white upperside; cf. ghost moth, n.
  • ghost-coal , n. 1824 A piece of dead coal that is white instead of glowing or burning; = ghost, n. A.V.16.
  • ghostology , n. 1824– The body of stories and beliefs relating to ghosts. Also: the study of these beliefs and stories; (more widely) the study of ghosts.
  • ghost hunt , n. 1825– A search for ghosts, poltergeists, etc.; an investigation of supposed paranormal activity.
  • ghostily , adv. c1825– In a ghostly or ghost-like manner.
  • ghostlet , n. 1826– A little ghost.
  • ghostlore , n. 1833– The body of stories and beliefs relating to ghosts.
  • anti-ghostism , n. a1834
  • ghost-hunting , adj. 1840– That searches for ghosts, poltergeists, etc.; engaged in ghost-hunting.
  • ghosthood , n. 1842– The state or condition of being a ghost.
  • ghostdom , n. 1846– The non-physical realm which incorporeal or disembodied spirits are considered to inhabit; the home or world of ghosts. Also occasionally: the state…
  • ghost light , n. 1849– Phosphorescent light seen hovering or floating at night, esp. over marshy ground, that appears to move away when approached; an instance of this; a…
  • ghost bird , n. 1851– Any of various birds that have been likened to a ghost, esp. in appearance or in having an eerie call; (also) a bird of ill omen; cf. jumbie bird, n.
  • ghost crab , n. 1854– †(a) The ghost shrimp Caprella linearis (obsolete); (b) any of various pale-coloured shore crabs constituting the subfamily Ocypodinae, native to…
  • ghost plant , n. 1856– (a) Indian pipe, Monotropa uniflora, which lacks chlorophyll and is typically whitish-pink in colour; (b) any of several amaranths (genus Amaranthus)…
  • turnip ghost , n. 1856– A ghostly apparition created by the glow of a turnip lantern; in later use often as the type of a bogus or made-up danger.
  • ghostite , n. 1857–1911 A person who believes in ghosts.
  • ghost-wise , adv. 1861– In the manner of a ghost; with regard to ghosts.
  • ghost racket , n. 1866– A prank, scam, or criminal scheme making use of ghosts (in various senses); originally with reference to simulating haunting or ghostly activity in…
  • ghost soul , n. 1869– (In the context of spiritualism and shamanism) the soul of a human or animal that animates the body but can exist and travel separately from it, as…
  • ghost image , n. 1872– A faint, transient, secondary, or spurious image caused by reflection, equipment defect, etc. (cf. ghost, n. A.V.17).
  • Ghost Dance , n. 1876– Among certain North American peoples in the late 19th cent.: a shuffling, circular ritual dance, often lasting several days, intended to bring about…
  • ghost train , n. 1878– Originally British. A fairground ride which travels through a dark tunnel featuring sound and light effects, mechanized figures and objects, etc…
  • ghost orchid , n. 1881– Any of several orchids having white or whitish flowers; esp. (a) an epiphytic orchid native to Florida and the West Indies, Dendrophylax lindenii…
  • ghost candle , n. 1885 (Perhaps) a candle lit near a dead body before burial, intended to ward off ghosts or malevolent spirits.
  • ghost shrimp , n. 1886– (a) Any of various marine amphipods having slender elongated bodies and comprising the family Caprellidae (cf. skeleton shrimp, n.); (b) any of…
  • ghost word , n. 1887– A word or word form that has come into existence by error rather than established usage, e.g. as a result of a typographical error, the incorrect…
  • Ghost Shirt , n. 1890– A shirt or shirt-like garment created and worn by a Ghost Dancer, reputed to give the wearer spiritual powers and protection; cf. Ghost Dancer, n.
  • ghost name , n. 1891– A name that has come into existence by error rather than established usage, e.g. as a result of the incorrect transcription of a manuscript (cf…
  • ghost form , n. 1894– A word or word form that has come into existence by error rather than established usage, e.g. as a result of a typographical error, the incorrect…
  • ghost town , n. 1894– A town partially or completely devoid of its inhabitants; (in early use) esp. a former boom town that has been deserted as a result of the closing…
  • ghost line , n. 1905– An indistinct line visible on a steel surface due to segregation of certain constituents, esp. phosphorus; cf. ghost, n. A.V.19.
  • ghost-written , adj. 1907– Written by a ghostwriter.
  • ghostwriter , n. 1908– A person who writes an article, book, etc., for another person, under whose name it is then published. Cf. ghost, n. A.IV.12.
  • ghost bat , n. 1914– Any of several bats having white or light grey coloration; esp. a large bat native to northern Australia, Macroderma gigas (family Megadermatidae)…
  • ghost squad , n. 1922– (a) A unit of covert detectives or police officers; (b) South African (usually with capital initials) a branch of the police responsible for checking…
  • ghost-write , v. 1927– transitive. To write (an article, book, etc.) for another person, under whose name it is then published.
  • ghostwriting , n. 1927– The action or practice of writing an article, book, etc., for another person, under whose name it is then published; material produced in this way.
  • ghost gum , n. 1928– Any of various Australian eucalypts of the genus Corymbia which have white or whitish bark, esp. C. papuana; (also) the wood of such a tree; cf…
  • ghost note , n. 1928– (a) A (typically unaccented) musical note which has a rhythmic value but little or no discernible pitch; (b) a quiet drumbeat played between the…
  • ghost station , n. 1928– A disused railway station, esp. one through which trains still pass.
  • ghostbusting , n. & adj. 1929– The action of investigating or dealing with supposed paranormal activity or phenomena; spec. (originally) the exposure of bogus claims of paranormal…
  • ghostbuster , n. 1930– A person who investigates or deals with supposed paranormal activity or phenomena; spec. (originally) a sceptic who exposes bogus claims of…
  • ghost car , n. 1931– A car used for a specific task (typically surveillance) which bears no outward sign of its purpose; spec. (chiefly Canadian) an unmarked vehicle used…
  • ghost account , n. 1933– Computing. A user account, esp. on social media, set up under a false identity for the purpose of engaging in illicit, dishonest, or disruptive…
  • ghost marriage , n. 1935– A legal marriage in which one or both of the couple are deceased.
  • ghost family , n. 1938– (Among the Atuot, Dinka, and Nuer people of South Sudan) a family resulting from a ghost marriage (ghost marriage, n.), in which any children are…
  • ghost sign , n. 1941– An old sign or notice displaying obsolete information, or advertising a defunct product or business; (now) esp. a painted sign of this type that…
  • ghost payroller , n. 1952– U.S. colloquial (chiefly derogatory). A person receiving a salary for a job that exists only nominally, or that requires little or no work, and which has been awarded through patronage…
  • Miss Willmott's ghost , n. 1956– A tall biennial Caucasian eryngium, Eryngium giganteum, grown for its silvery-green flower heads.
  • ghost net , n. 1959– A fishing net which has been lost or discarded in the ocean, and presents a danger to the marine environment and its creatures; cf. ghost gear, n.
  • ghost band , n. 1962– A big band that performs under the name of a deceased leader, typically playing the original band's arrangements, or music written in a similar style.
  • ghost fishing , n. 1963– The process by which fish and other marine animals become trapped in or ensnared by lost or discarded fishing equipment; cf. ghost gear, n., ghost…
  • ghost estate , n. 1978– A housing estate which has been largely abandoned; (now) esp. a newly-built estate in which most of the units are uninhabited or unfinished.
  • ghost gear , n. 1983– Fishing gear, such as nets and lines, which has been lost or discarded in the ocean, and presents a danger to the marine environment and its…
  • ghost site , n. 1984– (a) A computer system for which a location is recorded, but which has either been deleted or was never created (cf. site, n. 8a); (b) a website that…
  • ghost bike , n. 2004– A bicycle painted white and left as a memorial at a site where a cyclist was fatally injured in a collision with a motor vehicle.
  • ghost detainee , n. 2004– An unregistered person held anonymously in a detention facility.
  • ghost chilli , n. 2007– (Also more fully ghost chilli pepper) a variety of chilli pepper grown in South Asia; = ghost pepper, n.
  • ghost pepper , n. 2008– A variety of chilli pepper grown in South Asia, a natural hybrid between Capsicum frutescens and C. chinense, which is one of the hottest chillis…
The Ghost Scene in Hamlet .
Rob. What do you want? Cook. It is ghost -time, don't you know? and your night for it too.
Mat Lewis published it with a ghost ballad which he adjusted on the same theme.
The ruins of the old hall, which my maid used to call the ‘ ghost -house’.
The orb that maketh the ghost -hour fair.
The ghost -haunt of guilt.
The rain is too thick for one to see two yards in any direction, and we seem to be in a ghost -land forest.
The Tower of London can boast scores of ghost sightings including the spectre of Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII's executed wife, carrying her severed head.
Even supposing the absence of ‘ghost’ voters and other frauds.
[They] had stacked the muster rolls with legions of ‘imaginaries’, ghost soldiers , bearing the names of men long since dead, whose sole function was that of drawing pay on behalf of the officers who had resurrected them.
[He] is accused of making many more millions than he declared to tax authorities through the establishment of ghost companies .
Ghost claimants may be created by employers for collection of unemployment insurance.
Some of the people drawing salaries from the Federal Government coffers were ghost workers.
The dismantled place is now known as ‘Spookville’, and as the train whirls by the passenger who is looking for California curios is shown a tent on a hill—all that remains of the ghost town.
Bannack, the first capital of Montana, is today one of the ghost mining camps of the state.
The Civil War had ended, and in its wake it left ghost factories and mills, rusting and silent.
Milan becomes a ghost city in August when everyone leaves for the beach.
White-tailed eagles, lynx and wolves now count among those species that inhabit the ghost villages abandoned years ago.
The question [of] how to deal with ‘ ghost students’, who never even show their faces at schools, and a number of other riddles in connection with the new immigration law remain to be cleared up.
The TSB also has hundreds of thousands of ‘ ghost ’ customers who will also be entitled to preferential treatment if they come out of the woodwork. ‘ Ghost ’ customers hold accounts which have not been used since the TSB computerised all its accounts in 1971.
Whether through mismanagement or purposeful fraud, these ghost patients cost our NHS £88 million a year, so it's vital we get them off the books.
We analysed one hundred menus on Seamless and GrubHub. Slightly more than ten per cent had addresses or names that are false or unregistered. Seamless GrubHub is now asking customers to e-mail the companies if they discover ghost restaurants.
Taco Burger made a name for itself in Western Australia, where it used ghost kitchens to deliver its signature Mexican spiced burgers via Uber Eats.
In the delivery app era, the ghost franchise can be a lifeline for the independent restaurateur.
  • step-saving 1978–
  • ghost 2015– As a modifier, designating a catering business, often operating from low-rent or non-commercial premises, that prepares food ordered online for…
The Ghost -compelling God..will not..unbar the Gates of Death.
This should be borne in mind by political and philosophical ghostseers, ghost lovers, and ghost mongers.
Your modern Indian..is no ghost -fearing wretch.
Dr. Everard, what prescriptions have you for young ladies who take to ghost -seeing?
Superstition..in the form of ghost -fears..pervades every community of..the Afro-Americans in the South.
The great ghost -seeing age is between twenty and twenty-nine.
Enjoyable reading for country-lovers, ghost believers or not.
It was a wet, gloomy day, perfect for ghost -spotting.
The above lines were suggested by a superstition very common among sailors, who call this ghost -ship, I think, ‘the flying Dutch-man’.
‘A ghost coach, Sir,’ replied Cooly; ‘I've hard ov 'em often and often in Ireland’.
I came to the conclusion..that the Pullman with the wet bedclothes and the rotten bellcord, was nothing more or less, than the ghost car. However, I didn't say much more..about it at the time, for the less a man talks about seeing ghosts the better it is for him.
It..kept going, the wheels of its ghost bike making no sound high above the road.
It was a ghost sword ..and no sharper than smoke.
The ghost boy.
An impersonal ghost -hero.
A ghost -dog is believed to follow the midwife when she goes to her duties through the streets of Newcastle.
The ghost child whom the adult narrator encounters..is also..a resurrection of an ever-present child within.
Our cousin Valeria told us about La Llorona, the ghost woman who wails through the streets because she drowned her own children.
Can I yet liue, Yet longer liue in this Ghost -haunted tombe?
From thence they saile away To ghost -fill'd Tænarus.
A terrible triple-headed Dog..keeps eternal Watch before Pluto's Ghost -inhabited Palace.
Over the empty ghost -trod way.
Hamlet was poisoned— ghost -poisoned.
He might easily imagine it to be one of those weird, grey, ghost -haunted castles.
The one was ghost -ridden, the other fancy free.
To think that Nago would have a ghost -possessed parent!
David asks why I visibly shuddered when he pointed the ghost -inhabited room out to the fellow blossom watcher.
But through the gloom, and on the circumvallating reef, the breakers dashed ghost -white.
What angel, but would seem To sensual eyes, Ghost -dim?
The moon, ghost -wan against the clear bright heaven.
A sloop-of-war, ghost -white and very near.
Through a tear-mist she looked at a myriad ghost -pale lights.
The little brittle bush, ghost -gray along the roadside, sent forth its incense perfume.
Two great swans, ghost -white.
We peered over the edge of the boats at vast forests of kelp and the ghost white wisps of moon jellyfish below.
The pillowed alabaster, ghost -faint even to the eye of Kai's mind.
One day she was sitting high in a tree... Something large flowed at her, ghost -silent.

Entry history for ghost, n. & adj.

ghost, n. & adj. was revised in September 2021

ghost, n. & adj. was last modified in December 2023

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2 major airlines find loose bolts, other problems on grounded Boeing jets

Joel Rose

This photo shows the gaping hole where the panel used to plug an area reserved for an exit door on a Boeing 737 Max 9 jetliner blew out Jan. 5, shortly after the flight took off from Portland, Ore., forcing the plane to return to Portland International Airport. National Transportation Safety Board via AP hide caption

This photo shows the gaping hole where the panel used to plug an area reserved for an exit door on a Boeing 737 Max 9 jetliner blew out Jan. 5, shortly after the flight took off from Portland, Ore., forcing the plane to return to Portland International Airport.

Alaska Airlines and United Airlines said on Monday that they have found loose parts on their 737 Max 9 aircraft since they started inspecting some of their grounded Boeing jets, bringing additional scrutiny to the component called a door plug that blew off a Max 9 aircraft last week.

About 170 planes were removed from service after the incident involving an Alaska Airlines jet that had just taken off from Portland, Ore., on Friday night. United and Alaska are the two major U.S. carriers that fly Boeing jets with this particular configuration of door plugs.

Alaska Airlines said Monday evening it is waiting for the formal inspection process on the jets to begin. But as maintenance crews began preparing the plans for inspection, they found "some loose hardware was visible on some aircraft."

United Airlines said Monday, "Since we began preliminary inspections on Saturday, we have found instances that appear to relate to installation issues in the door plug – for example, bolts that needed additional tightening. These findings will be remedied by our Tech Ops team to safely return the aircraft to service."

Earlier in the day, the Federal Aviation Administration said airlines can now begin official inspections of their grounded Boeing planes to get them back in the air.

"As operators conduct the required inspections, we are staying in close contact with them and will help address any and all findings," Boeing said in a statement. "We are committed to ensuring every Boeing airplane meets design specifications and the highest safety and quality standards. We regret the impact this has had on our customers and their passengers."

Before a door plug flew off a Boeing plane, an advisory light came on 3 times

Before a door plug flew off a Boeing plane, an advisory light came on 3 times

Investigators at the National Transportation Safety Board say they have recovered the door plug that blew off the 737 Max 9 on Friday night in a backyard near Portland — and they hope it will yield important clues about why this section of fuselage detached from the rest of the plane at 16,000 feet.

"We're very fortunate they have found the plug itself," said John Cox, a former pilot and safety consultant, in an interview with NPR's Morning Edition .

Investigators "will want to look at everything" involving the door plug, NTSB Chair Jennifer Homendy said during a briefing Sunday night .

Alaska Airlines grounds 737 Max 9 fleet after window blows out on flight from Oregon

Alaska Airlines grounds 737 Max 9 fleet after window blows out on flight from Oregon

Alaska Airlines Flight 1282 quickly returned to Portland after the blowout. No one was seriously injured. But the incident has raised concerns about the Boeing 737 Max 9, a larger cousin of the two 737 Max 8 jets that crashed in 2018 and 2019 , killing a total of 346 people. It's also prompting new questions about the door plug system itself and whether it's still safe to fly.

What is a door plug?

Diagram of a Boeing 737-9 mid-cabin door plug and components (Source: Boeing) pic.twitter.com/7qPF5MGAOX — NTSB Newsroom (@NTSB_Newsroom) January 8, 2024

The door plug is not really a door at all. It's a component that's designed to fill a hole in the plane's fuselage where an optional emergency exit would also fit.

Planes that carry more than about 200 passengers require more emergency exits to comply with safety regulations, while airplanes that carry fewer passengers can be fitted with the door plug instead.

Under ordinary circumstances, most passengers wouldn't notice the door plug at all because it looks similar to a regular window.

Boeing has been using the design for more than a decade without any major incidents, said Cox, who is now a consultant with the company Safety Operating Systems.

"This design has been in use for a number of years, and it's not proven to be problematic at all," Cox said. Door plugs are used on the Boeing 737-900ER, a predecessor of the Max planes, he said, as well as the Max series.

Boeing urges airlines to check its 737 Max jets for loose bolts

Boeing urges airlines to check its 737 Max jets for loose bolts

The Alaska Airlines plane had just been delivered on Oct. 31, according to the NTSB. An auto-pressurization failure light had illuminated in the plane's cockpit three times in prior weeks, Homendy said. Alaska Airlines put a restriction in place that prevented the plane from flying over water to Hawaii so that it could return more easily to an airport in case of emergency.

What are investigators looking for?

"We know what happened. We don't know fully why," Cox said. "And then the follow-up question of course is, what do we need to do to prevent it from happening again?"

The door plug is held in place by four bolts . And investigators say the condition of those bolts may be telling.

"Are the four bolts there? Are the nuts there? Was there deformation or bending of the bolts, of the holes?" Cox said. "All of those things they're going to look at to try to understand the forces that resulted in this plug leaving the airplane."

Investigators at the NTSB will want to examine both the door and the components of the plane where it was attached.

"We have a lot of ability in our lab with our microscopes to really look at some of the components more in depth," Homendy said on Sunday night, "to look at witness marks, to look at any paint transfer, what shape the door was in when found. That can tell them a lot about what occurred."

The door plug, like the rest of the Max 9 fuselage, is manufactured by Spirit AeroSystems, a Boeing supplier based in Wichita, Kansas.

"We are grateful the Alaska Airlines crew performed the appropriate procedures to land the airplane with all passengers and crew safe," the company said in a statement .

"At Spirit AeroSystems, our primary focus is the quality and product integrity of the aircraft structures we deliver. Spirit is a committed partner with Boeing on the 737 program, and we continue to work together with them on this matter," the statement said.

The company's previous CEO stepped down in October amid problems with production and was replaced by a former Boeing executive.

How will this affect air travel?

The Federal Aviation Administration said Monday that carriers can begin inspections of about 170 Boeing Max 9 planes that have been grounded after the incident on Friday night.

"The FAA's priority is always keeping Americans safe," the agency said in a statement . "Boeing 737-9 aircraft will remain grounded until operators complete enhanced inspections which include both left and right cabin door exit plugs, door components, and fasteners."

Operators must also complete any corrective actions based on the findings from those inspections, the agency said. The FAA previously said that inspections would take about four to eight hours per aircraft.

"We agree with and fully support the FAA's decision to require immediate inspections of 737-9 MAX airplanes with the same configuration as the affected airplane," said Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Stan Deal and safety officer Mike Delaney in an email to the company's employees.

"The assembly to be inspected is not found on other members of the 737 MAX family," they noted.

The FAA ordered the grounding of 737 Max 9 planes in certain configurations that have the door plug. But other planes that have door plugs are still flying, including the 737-900ER as well as other 737 Max 8 planes that also have the door plug.

Regulators in Europe say the order will have no immediate impact on airlines there.

"The 737-9 aircraft operating in Europe do not have this configuration and are therefore not grounded," the European Union Aviation Safety Agency said in a statement , "and can continue to operate normally."

European airlines including Ryanair fly the Boeing 737 Max 9, but they are fitted with emergency exits instead of door plugs.

"Right now, this still looks like it's a one-off," Cox said. "It's just something that happened to this airplane." But the ongoing problems with the Max series are yet another blow to Boeing's reputation, he said. "An operator around the world is going to look at this and say, 'OK, if we buy the Max, are we buying a problem?'"

NPR's Ayana Archie contributed reporting.

  • Boeing 737 Max
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Gathering of the Ghosts – January 22, 2024

define ghost line

What Is Ghostwriting—And What Does It Mean Today?

  • By Gotham Ghostwriters

To kick off the Ghostwriting Confidential 2021 series, our groups thought it made sense to start with the first question we typically get from new contacts: What does “ghostwriting” mean? And then to explore how it can lead to your success. 

With this post, we will define ghostwriting by covering the history and evolution of collaborative creation, the brief foray away from that approach to sole creative endeavors, and the current swing back to collaboration that’s proving to be a boon for writers and readers alike. Finally, we’ll introduce you to the wide array of benefits authors gain by working with a professional writing partner.

What Is a Ghostwriter?

There’s a narrow understanding of what ghostwriting is among laypeople, and then there’s the broader reality of what it actually is.

The common definition of ghostwriting is the act of one person writing in the name of another person, group, company, or institution without receiving a byline or public credit. But more often than not, ghostwriting is a customized form of collaboration, covering a range of relationships and services tied to the authors’ needs, objectives, and work style.

And today, it is becoming more and more common for these editorial partners to receive public recognition—and even cover-credit for their work in the form of “and John Smith” or “with Jane Brown.” 

Although the common definition is still prevalent, it is changing as people become more exposed to the wide spectrum of roles that ghostwriters play. For example, the author and the ghost might share writing responsibilities, or the ghost might work on certain components, such as writing the stories and case studies or shaping the narrative of a novel or memoir, with the author supplying the original concepts and research. Ghosts also can coach authors to develop a concept and organizational structure, identify their target audience, capture their authentic voice, manage the project, conduct interviews with outside sources, and find pertinent research studies. And ghostwriters can serve as developmental editors, helping authors to shape their work at the earliest stages of production, and as line editors and book doctors, polishing, revising, and revamping manuscripts that need improvement before being published. 

The division of labor varies from one collaboration to another, based on whatever makes the most sense for the success of the project. That’s why we think of ghostwriter as an umbrella term for creative collaborations on many types of projects, including books, speeches, white papers, articles, websites, blogs, podcasts—essentially any type of written content our clients want to co-create with us. 

Ghostwriting Is One of the Oldest Professions

While the general public’s awareness of ghostwriting is a relatively recent development, ghostwriting and collaborative storytelling have been around for as long as the written word. Perhaps the most widely known example is the Bible. Both testaments were written by committee, hundreds of years after the events occurred—in the ancient world, the concept of owning intellectual property didn’t exist. For thousands of years, stories were told collectively, especially in oral storytelling. Thus, the oldest known “texts” aren’t attributed to a single author, but rather are the accumulated reflections and contributions of entire cultures.

It wasn’t until the Age of Enlightenment that individuals began being credited as the sole creators of stories and other artistic endeavors, particularly books and later films. Auteurs (French for “authors”) were held in high esteem for single-handedly producing stories and attaching their names to them. In relatively short order, this notion of a book needing to have a sole source took root, not only in literary circles but in the imagination of readers. 

The rise of the auteur in the 18th and 19th centuries didn’t kill off the practice of collaborative storytelling or the use of ghosts—it just drove our predecessors deeper undercover. Indeed, it’s widely believed that this period is when the common stigma around ghostwriting was born. One of the most telling examples of this is the work and life of Samuel Johnson , the famed English writer and public intellectual. Johnson started his career as what was then known as a “hack” writer—a poorly paid writer for hire. At the height of his fame, he reportedly used a ghost of his own for some of his essays, which he slyly acknowledged by signing them with the anonymous letter T. Johnson later disavowed this practice out of a sense of honor/shame. And after Johnson’s death, his acolyte and biographer James Boswell—who many wrongly confuse as Johnson’s ghostwriter—took that disdain a step further by comparing ghostwriting to selling one’s own birthright. 

The Evolution of Ghostwriting:  From Stigma to Standard Practice and on to Status

Ever since Johnson’s days, many an esteemed writer who has dabbled in ghostwriting has grappled with this sellout stigma. Notably among them were the coterie of great American novelists such as William Faulkner, F. Scott Fitzgerald, James Agee, and Aldous Huxley who each went out to Hollywood after the talkies became a thing to make a buck as a screenwriter/rewriter. This self-inflicted sense of hackery recently earned a co-starring role in the 2021 Oscar-nominated movie “Mank” about the legendary screenwriter Herman Mankiewicz, who aspired to be a man of letters and a New York dramatist but had to settle for being the Academy Award-winning author of “Citizen Kane.”

The darker taboo around ghostwriting applies not to the ghost but to the author—that claiming someone else’s words as your own is a form of cheating and/or an act of dishonesty. Yet, anyone who’s been part of a creative endeavor in the arts—from a playwright who incorporates notes from a director and the actors to a writers’ room for a network television show to comedians who use punch-up writers—knows that the premise that there’s a single author responsible for every story is the real fraud.

This holds just as true for the creation of books. Set aside the term “ghostwriter”— countless works of fiction and non-fiction alike that we hold dear were shaped, reshaped, and even rewritten by anonymous editors. Just look at the work of Maxwell Perkins , a giant within publishing circles whose substantial revisions to classics such as Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby and Thomas Wolfe’s Look Homeward, Angel are widely credited for their success. Each book’s vision and story were the author’s, but the text was the product of a collaboration. That’s exactly what the best ghostwriters and collaborative writers do: help their authors find and express the best version of their vision.

The contributions of ghostwriters have become increasingly known and appreciated—at least within elite circles—with the rise of celebrity culture. Ask most Hollywood talent agents, top PR executives, brand-name CEOs, and political leaders, and not only will they tell you what a ghostwriter does, but also the value they deliver. Jack Welch and Lee Iacocca became household names in the 1980s partly because of their blockbuster bestselling autobiographies, which they could not have written without supremely talented writers such as our friends Bill Novak and Catherine Whitney. Donald Trump likely would not have been president without Tony Schwartz, Trump’s ghost on his brand-defining book, Art of the Deal .

What truly and fully brought ghosting out of the shadows, and in turn helped drive a stake through the heart of the stigma, was the ubiquity and transparency of the Internet. In short order, everything and everyone was caught in the Web—there were no secrets anymore. Not only did we know that Barack Obama didn’t write his own speeches, his young speechwriter Jon Favreau became a celebrity in his own right. What became known then became normal, and as such accepted. Some CEOs and celebrities may write their own books, but most don’t—and most readers now know and accept that. 

The Internet has also made the nuts and bolts of collaboration—the actual sharing of artistic creation—much easier through an array of new technologies and platforms. Songwriters can trade tracks and recordings in an instant. Apps such as Google docs allow writers to easily share drafts and collaborate in real time, from anywhere in the world. Other technologies allow authors to share their working texts with their followers and quickly crowdsource notes and ideas for improvements.

As we noted in the introduction to this series, though, the Internet’s most transformative effect on the ghostwriting field has been on the demand side. Self-publishing used to be derided as merely for “vanity” projects. Now, it’s driving the content marketplace—from established ungated platforms such as Medium and LinkedIn to fast-growing newsletter services like Substack to the rise of elite, full-service hybrid book publishers that enable thought leaders to get their books to market on their own terms and timetable. This has turned ghostwriting from a luxury into more and more of a necessity.

The fact is, leaders, influencers, and those inspired to tell their stories or share new thoughts and discoveries tend to be busy people who work long hours to accomplish big goals. They have extensive expertise in their fields, but rarely have the time or the writing skills to, for example, produce on their own a series of thought-leadership articles or a deep-dive book.

And why should they have to do it by themselves? All things considered, choosing not to collaborate with a professional writer is deciding to give yourself a disadvantage right out of the gate. 

Today, working with a ghost is rightly seen by the business, advocacy, and communication leaders our groups partner with as an asset, as the quality of collaborative projects is higher than when authors go it alone, and that leads to greater success. On the flip side, a growing number of accomplished authors are reaching out to us to pursue collaborations because they’ve recognized they can make a lucrative income serving as a co-author or ghost for public figures and experts who can’t write the story themselves, or don’t want to.

Benefits of Collaborating with a Pro Ghost

If you’ve read hundreds of great books, it may seem like a logical leap to actually write one, but that’s not usually how things work out, particularly for first-time authors. Writing a book from scratch can be intimidating, and if it’s your first book, it can be overwhelming and downright scary. So it’s no surprise that a lot of new authors are coming to us for help. They see the wisdom in working with a professional who not only is a skilled writer but also has extensive experience collaborating with authors and understands the trepidation and trust issues authors naturally have. 

With a ghost by your side, the lofty aspiration—or intimidating prospect—of writing a book that meets your goals and makes you proud is not only achievable but also fascinating and enjoyable. With Gotham and United Ghostwriters, authors can sleep well at night because they know they’re in good hands. 

A Ghostwriter Can Help You if: 

  • Your new philosophy or approach is so effective that your colleagues keep saying, “You should write a book.” But who has time when you’re leading the charge 24/7? 
  • You have a personal story to share that can help others, but you have no idea how to put it down in words. 
  • You’re keynoting an upcoming conference and are determined to inspire the audience to take action to improve their business, but writing in a “void” doesn’t elicit your best thoughts or your most creative ideas. 
  • You’ve come up with a blockbuster idea for a novel but don’t have the right skill sets to bring it to life. 
  • There’s content you want to produce, but you adhere to the business adage, “Only do what only you can do”—and writing isn’t on that list. 
  • You want to strengthen your own writing skills by collaborating with a pro. 

Collaborating with a ghostwriter allows you to share your vision in a way that’s true to you. It’s your story, your brilliance, your originality. We simply help bring it to life on the page.

Gotham Ghostwriters

Gotham Ghostwriters is the nation's premier ghostwriting agency.

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If you value high-quality writing and are seeking a partner you can trust with your ideas and stories, contact us to schedule a free phone consultation. We’ll be back to you within 24 hours.

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Definition of 'ghost'

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Pangbourne murder inquiry: Police name woman found dead in car

  • Published 1 day ago

Police outside property

A woman found fatally stabbed in car after officers were called to reports of a crash has been named by police.

The body of Maya Bracken, 56, who was originally from Indonesia, was found inside a Lexus in Flower's Hill, in Pangbourne, Berkshire, on Thursday.

Shortly after the discovery, an 18-year-old man was found dead on a railway line nearby.

Thames Valley Police previously said the deaths were being linked and no further suspects were being sought.

Police van

Ms Bracken's body was found when officers were called to a crash involving a Lexus on the A340 Tidmarsh Road at its junction with Flower's Hill at about 17:45 GMT.

The force said the man was found dead on the railway track near Pangbourne at about 18:15.

Friends of Ms Bracken have described her as a "chatty" and "friendly" mother-of-three.

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Murder investigation after pair found dead

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  • as in relic
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Thesaurus Definition of ghost

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Synonyms & Similar Words

  • poltergeist
  • materialization
  • familiar spirit
  • doppelganger
  • doppelgänger
  • continental
  • doodly - squat
  • doodley - squat
  • remembrance

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Thesaurus Definition of ghost  (Entry 2 of 2)

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  • give up the ghost

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“Ghost.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus , Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/ghost. Accessed 9 Jan. 2024.

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  1. ghost line, n. meanings, etymology and more

    The earliest known use of the noun ghost line is in the 1900s. OED's earliest evidence for ghost line is from 1905, in Page's Weekly . ghost line is formed within English, by compounding.

  2. Ghost Definition & Meaning

    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 3 : spirit, demon 4 a : a faint shadowy trace a ghost of a smile b : the least bit not a ghost of a chance 5 : a false image in a photographic negative or on a television screen caused especially by reflection 6

  3. How to Use a Ghost Line

    A ghost line is a line from another poem that you use to as a starter. It's a launch pad. You can write from it by continuing an image, responding to its observation, arguing, agreeing, or answering. Once your poem is written, the ghost line disappears. The line literally ghosts away—it was only meant to be a starting place.

  4. ghost line

    ghost line in English dictionary ghost line Sample sentences with " ghost line " Declension Stem Match words It resembles a ghost - line that occurs when a real ghost is copied. OpenSubtitles2018.v3 The Doctor is referring to the original ghost - line that's now in the body. OpenSubtitles2018.v3 The Ghost lined up for another blow to the knee.

  5. ghost line definition

    ghost. n. 1 the disembodied spirit of a dead person, supposed to haunt the living as a pale or shadowy vision; phantom. Related adj → spectral. 2 a haunting memory. the ghost of his former life rose up before him. 3 a faint trace or possibility of something; glimmer. a ghost of a smile.

  6. GHOST Definition & Usage Examples

    to suddenly end all contact with (a person) without explanation, especially in a romantic relationship: The guy I've been dating ghosted me. to leave (a social event or gathering) suddenly without saying goodbye: My friend ghosted my birthday party.

  7. GHOST

    the spirit of a dead person, sometimes represented as a pale, almost transparent image of that person that some people believe appears to people who are alive: believe in ghosts Do you believe in ghosts? haunted by a ghost The gardens are said to be haunted by the ghost of a child who drowned in the river. Fewer examples

  8. Ghost

    In folklore, a ghost is the soul or spirit of a dead person or non-human animal that is believed to be able to appear to the living. In ghostlore, descriptions of ghosts vary widely, from an invisible presence to translucent or barely visible wispy shapes to realistic, lifelike forms.

  9. GHOST definition and meaning

    14 meanings: 1. the disembodied spirit of a dead person, supposed to haunt the living as a pale or shadowy vision; phantom .... Click for more definitions.

  10. ghost_1 noun

    [singular] ghost of something a very slight amount of something that is left behind or that you are not sure really exists. There was a ghost of a smile on his face. You don't have a ghost of a chance (= you have no chance). [singular] a second image on a television screen that is not as clear as the first, caused by a fault

  11. Ghosting: What It Means and How to Respond

    Ghosting is a relatively new colloquial dating term that refers to abruptly cutting off contact with someone without giving that person any warning or explanation for doing so. Even when the person being ghosted reaches out to re-initiate contact or gain closure, they're met with silence.

  12. Ghosting (behavior)

    Ghosting, simmering and icing are colloquial terms that describe the practice of suddenly ending all communication and avoiding contact with another person without any apparent warning or explanation and ignoring any subsequent attempts to communicate. [1] [2] [3]

  13. Line Definition & Meaning

    ˈlīn Synonyms of line 1 a : a length of cord or cord-like material: such as (1) : a comparatively strong slender cord (2) : clothesline (3) : a rope used on shipboard b (1) : a device for catching fish consisting of a cord with hooks and other fishing gear (2) : scope for activity : rope c : a length of material used in measuring and leveling

  14. New details emerge on piece of Alaska Airlines plane that blew off

    Federal officials examining the horrifying midflight blowout of part of an Alaska Airlines aircraft's fuselage are testing the detached piece for clues on what led up to the plane's ...

  15. ghost, n. & adj. meanings, etymology and more

    In noun phrases. P.2.a. ghost of life (also life's ghost ): the animating or vital principle in humans and animals; that which gives life to the body, in contrast to its purely material being; the life force, the breath of life; = sense A.I.1. rare. With use in quot. 2001 cf. to give up the ghost.

  16. United Airlines, Alaska Airlines find loose bolts on other ...

    "At Spirit AeroSystems, our primary focus is the quality and product integrity of the aircraft structures we deliver. Spirit is a committed partner with Boeing on the 737 program, and we continue ...

  17. Ghost

    ghost (gōst) n. 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. 4. a. A slight or faint trace: just a ghost of a smile. b.

  18. Alaskan Airlines flight 1282: Key questions behind door plug blowout

    In the immediate aftermath of Friday's accident (this is the term used by the NTSB), Alaska Airlines grounded its entire fleet of 65 737 Max 9 aircraft. However, on Saturday 18 planes were briefly ...

  19. ghost the line

    ghost the line in English dictionary . ghost the line Sample sentences with "ghost the line" Declension Stem . Match words . all exact any . ghost the line. Englishtainment. There's a riddle now might baffle all the lawyers backed by the ghosts of the whole line of judges: MIZAN.

  20. Ghosting: What It Is, Why It Hurts, and What You Can Do About It

    What it Means to Ghost and Be Ghosted. Ghosting is by no means limited to long-term romantic relationships. Informal dating relationships, friendships, even work relationships may end with a form of ghosting. For the person who does the ghosting, simply walking away from a relationship, or even a potential relationship, is a quick and easy way out.

  21. How to Draw a Ghost

    Step 2 - Define your Ghost Outlines. When you are happy with your rough sketches, it's time to switch mediums and make your lines permanent. You will need a lining medium such as a pen, marker, or outline brush to define your ghost line drawing. This will darken your illustration and help you see the shape more clearly.

  22. Chipping Sodbury: New lagoon unable to save rail track from flood

    A major railway route has been closed after a purpose-built flood lagoon was unable to protect the tracks. The line between Bristol Parkway and Swindon has been closed at Chipping Sodbury due to ...

  23. What Is Ghostwriting—And What Does It Mean Today?

    The common definition of ghostwriting is the act of one person writing in the name of another person, group, company, or institution without receiving a byline or public credit.

  24. GHOST definition in American English

    ghost in American English. (ɡoust) noun. 1. the soul of a dead person, a disembodied spirit imagined, usually as a vague, shadowy or evanescent form, as wandering among or haunting living persons. 2. a mere shadow or semblance; a trace. He's a ghost of his former self. 3.

  25. Pangbourne murder inquiry: Police name woman found dead in car

    A woman found fatally stabbed in car after officers were called to reports of a crash has been named by police. The body of Maya Bracken, 56, who was originally from Indonesia, was found inside a ...

  26. GHOST Synonyms: 175 Similar and Opposite Words

    Definition of ghost 1 as in apparition the soul of a dead person thought of especially as appearing to living people looked for ghosts in the graveyard on Halloween Synonyms & Similar Words Relevance apparition spirit phantom haunt spectre wraith poltergeist specter zombie vampire shadow spook angel demon sprite bogy vision phantasm bogie

  27. Urban Dictionary: ghostline

    Any humans, animal or machines that leave any great achievements behind get removed from the ring of reincarnation and sublimate into beings of higher rank. Gilgamesh, Sir Lancelot, Alexander the Great are examples of ghostliner. by iluvate March 19, 2013 Get the Ghostliner mug. More random definitions

  28. What's the difference between a ghost and a spirit?

    1. The KJV translators chose to use the word 'Ghost' (meaning God, the Spirit) wherever the words pneuma and hagios occurred together. It may well be that they, in doing so, affected the development of the English language (as in other ways, also). Personally, I think you are correct.