- 1(of an event) very frightening and unpleasant, because it involves pain, death, etc. synonym horrible a ghastly crime/murder She woke up in the middle of a ghastly nightmare.
- 2 (informal) (of an experience or a situation) very bad; unpleasant synonym terrible The weather was ghastly. It's all been a ghastly mistake. When she mentioned layoffs, for one ghastly moment, I thought she meant me.
- 3 (informal) (of a person or thing) that you find unpleasant and dislike very much synonym horrible her ghastly husband This lipstick is a ghastly color.
- 4[not usually before noun] sick or upset synonym terrible I felt ghastly the next day. Do I look as ghastly as I feel?
- 5(literary) very pale in appearance, like a dead person His face was ghastly white. She had a ghastly pallor.