Definition of ghost noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ɡəʊst//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ɡoʊst//
    jump to other results
  1. 1[countable] the spirit of a dead person that a living person believes they can see or hear Do you believe in ghosts (= believe that they exist)? the ghost of her father that had come back to haunt her He looked as if he had seen a ghost (= looked very frightened).
  2. 2[countable] the memory of something, especially something bad The ghost of anti-Semitism still haunts Europe.
  3. 3[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).
  4. 4[singular] a second image on a television screen that is not as clear as the first, caused by a fault
  5. Word OriginOld English gāst (in the sense ‘spirit, soul’), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch geest and German Geist. The gh- spelling occurs first in Caxton, probably influenced by Flemish gheest.Extra examples A priest was called in to exorcize the ghost. He looked as pale as a ghost as he climbed out of the wrecked car. I don’t believe in ghosts. The ghost of a hanged man is said to haunt the house. You look as if you’ve seen a ghost! dark, cold nights when ghosts walk Do you believe in ghosts? He looked as if he had seen a ghost. It was the ghost of her father that had come back to haunt her. We used to sit around the campfire telling ghost stories.Idioms
    be a shadow/ghost of your former self
    jump to other results
    to not have the strength, influence, etc. that you used to have When his career ended, he became a shadow of his former self.
    1. 1to die
    2. 2(humorous) (of a machine) to stop working My car finally gave up the ghost.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: ghost