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



    (US English specter) noun
    BrE BrE//ˈspektə(r)//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈspektər//
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  1. 1spectre (of something) something unpleasant that people are afraid might happen in the future The country is haunted by the spectre of civil war. These weeks of drought have once again raised the spectre of widespread famine.
  2. 2(literary) a ghost Was he a spectre returning to haunt her?
  3. Word Originearly 17th cent.: from French spectre or Latin spectrum ‘image, apparition’, from specere ‘to look’.Extra examples The terrible spectre of civil war hung over the country once again. Wall Street’s collapse raised spectres of the 1987 stock market crash. an attempt to exorcize the spectre of poverty the looming spectre of a financial crisis the twin spectres of addiction and violence