—ghostily, adv. —ghostlike, adj./gohst/, n.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. a remote possibility: He hasn't a ghost of a chance.4. (sometimes cap.) a spiritual being.5. the principle of life; soul; spirit.6. Informal. See ghost writer.7. a secondary image, esp. one appearing on a television screen as a white shadow, caused by poor or double reception or by a defect in the receiver.8. Also called ghost image. Photog. a faint secondary or out-of-focus image in a photographic print or negative resulting from reflections within the camera lens.9. 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.10. Optics. a series of false spectral lines produced by a diffraction grating with unevenly spaced lines.11. Metalworking. a streak appearing on a freshly machined piece of steel containing impurities.12. a red blood cell having no hemoglobin.13. a fictitious employee, business, etc., fabricated esp. for the purpose of manipulating funds or avoiding taxes: Investigation showed a payroll full of ghosts.14. give up the ghost,a. to die.b. to cease to function or exist.v.t.15. to ghostwrite (a book, speech, etc.).16. to haunt.17. Engraving. to lighten the background of (a photograph) before engraving.v.i.18. to ghostwrite.19. to go about or move like a ghost.20. (of a sailing vessel) to move when there is no perceptible wind.21. to pay people for work not performed, esp. as a way of manipulating funds.adj.22. fabricated for purposes of deception or fraud: We were making contributions to a ghost company.Syn. 1. apparition, phantom, phantasm, wraith, revenant; shade, spook. GHOST, SPECTER, SPIRIT all refer to the disembodied soul of a person. A GHOST is the soul or spirit of a deceased person, which appears or otherwise makes its presence known to the living: the ghost of a drowned child. A SPECTER is a ghost or apparition of more or less weird, unearthly, or terrifying aspect: a frightening specter. SPIRIT is often interchangeable with GHOST but may mean a supernatural being, usually with an indication of good or malign intent toward human beings: the spirit of a friend; an evil spirit.
* * *Soul or specter of a deceased person.Belief in ghosts has been common since ancient times and is reflected in folklore around the world. It is based on the notion that the spirit is separable from the body and can continue its existence after the death of the body. Ghosts are believed to inhabit the netherworld and to be capable of returning to the world of the living, appearing as living beings or in a nebulous likeness of the deceased. They are thought to be especially likely to haunt places or people connected with some strong emotion of their past life, such as fear, remorse, or the terror of a violent death. The traditional visual manifestations of haunting include ghostly apparitions, the movement of objects, or the appearance of strange lights; auditory signs include disembodied laughter and screams, knocking, or footsteps.
* * *▪ spiritsoul or spectre of a dead person, usually believed to inhabit the netherworld and to be capable of returning in some form to the world of the living. According to descriptions or depictions provided by believers, a ghost may appear as a living being or as a nebulous likeness of the deceased and, occasionally, in other forms. Belief in ghosts is based on the ancient notion that a human spirit is separable from the body and may maintain its existence after the body's death. In many societies funeral rituals are believed to prevent the ghost from haunting the living.A place that is haunted is thought to be associated by the haunting spirit with some strong emotion of the past—remorse, fear, or the terror of a violent death. Individuals who are haunted are believed to be responsible for, or associated with, the ghost's unhappy past experience (compare possession, spirit). The traditional visual manifestations of haunting include ghostly apparitions, the displacement of objects, or the appearance of strange lights; auditory signs include disembodied laughter and screams, footsteps, ringing bells, and the spontaneous emanation of sounds from musical instruments.Tales of specific ghosts are still common in living folklore worldwide. The telling of elaborate, grisly ghost stories, often in a setting enhanced by darkness or thunderstorm, is a popular pastime in many groups, particularly among children. See also ghoul; kobold; poltergeist.
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