• WordNet 3.6
    • adj ghastly shockingly repellent; inspiring horror "ghastly wounds","the grim aftermath of the bombing","the grim task of burying the victims","a grisly murder","gruesome evidence of human sacrifice","macabre tales of war and plague in the Middle ages","macabre tortures conceived by madmen"
    • adj ghastly gruesomely indicative of death or the dead "a charnel smell came from the chest filled with dead men's bones","ghastly shrieks","the sepulchral darkness of the catacombs"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Ghastly Horrible; shocking; dreadful; hideous. "Mangled with ghastly wounds through plate and mail."
    • adv Ghastly In a ghastly manner; hideously. "Staring full ghastly like a strangled man."
    • Ghastly Like a ghost in appearance; deathlike; pale; pallid; dismal. "Each turned his face with a ghastly pang.""His face was so ghastly that it could scarcely be recognized."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • ghastly Dreadful or deathly in aspect or look; deathlike; haggard; shocking.
    • ghastly Deathly in import or suggestion; morally dreadful or shocking.
    • ghastly Synonyms Ghastly, Grim, Grisly, Haggard, Hideous; pale, wan, cadaverous, frightful. Hideous may apply to sound, as a hideous noise; the others not. All in modern use apply primarily to sight and secondarily to mental perception, except haggard, which connotes sight only. Ghastly, as it is most commonly used, means deathly pale, deathlike, referring to the countenance, but its signification has been extended to denote anything that is suggestive of death, or even repulsive and shocking, as Milton's “mangled with ghastly wounds” (P. L., vi. 368), “a ghastly smile” (Milton, P. L., ii. 846), a ghastly jest. Grim characterizes a rigid cast of countenance, indicating a severe, stern, or even ruthless disposition. Grisly refers to the whole form or aspect, especially when dark, forbidding, or such as to inspire terror. Haggard adds to the idea of paleness of countenance that of being wasted by famine or protracted mental agony. Hideous, used of looks, applies to the whole form or scene, and means simply repulsive, extremely unpleasant to see: as, hideous features; a hideous scene. See pale.
    • ghastly In a ghastly manner; dreadfully; hideously; with a deathlike aspect.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • adj Ghastly death-like: hideous
    • ***


  • D. H. Lawrence
    “One can no longer live with people: it is too hideous and nauseating. Owners and owned, they are like the two sides of a ghastly disease.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. gastlich, gastli, fearful, causing fear, fr. gasten, to terrify, AS. gæstan,. Cf. Aghast Gast Gaze Ghostly
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
A.S. gǽstlic, terrible. See Aghast.


In literature:

He appeared so frightened I endeavored to smile at him, and it must have been a ghastly effort.
"Love Under Fire" by Randall Parrish
With this ghastly toy she kept playing as she spoke, apparently unconscious of its grim significance.
"In the Days of My Youth" by Amelia Ann Blandford Edwards
Night was above and within the spectre; it was a prey of ghastly exaggeration.
"The Man Who Laughs" by Victor Hugo
At eight or nine o'clock the low saloons are not so ghastly.
"The Abominations of Modern Society" by Rev. T. De Witt Talmage
It is a ghastly and gruesome creation.
"Library Of The World's Best Literature, Ancient And Modern, Vol 6" by Various
No, no, not about such a ghastly subject as a war to-day!
"The Last Shot" by Frederick Palmer
Her face grew ghastly white.
"The Mysterious Rider" by Zane Grey
It is a nasty place on a calm summer day: in a blizzard it must be ghastly.
"The Worst Journey in the World, Volumes 1 and 2" by Apsley Cherry-Garrard
His ashen face became more ghastly in its hue.
"The Story of the Foss River Ranch" by Ridgwell Cullum
The reflection of the cross lights made them look ghastly.
"Santa Claus's Partner" by Thomas Nelson Page
Dawson, himself, is a ghastly monomaniac.
"The Taming of Red Butte Western" by Francis Lynde
Ghastly things happened, of course.
"The Real Adventure" by Henry Kitchell Webster
The face looked ghastly white, not like a person's living.
"Verner's Pride" by Mrs. Henry Wood
Too many cooks spoiled this ghastly broth.
"The Johnstown Horror" by James Herbert Walker
The very disease assumed a ghastly shape and monstrous aspect.
"Germinie Lacerteux" by Edmond and Jules de Goncourt
Every cot had its ghastly transient, and so had the benches, brought here from the different plazas.
"The Missourian" by Eugene P. (Eugene Percy) Lyle
As he moved further from the road, the back of his head was more directly exposed, presenting a most ghastly sight.
"The Somnambulist and the Detective" by Allan Pinkerton
Other balls flashed instantly from Naida's ranks, and each brought about the same ghastly result as the first.
"Astounding Stories of Super-Science, December 1930" by Various
His face was almost ghastly.
"The Moving Finger" by E. Phillips Oppenheim
My hands trembled; it was ghastly, swinging there between earth and heaven.
"Miss Cayley's Adventures" by Grant Allen

In poetry:

Sing of the lightning's lurid flash,
The ocean's roar, the howling storm,
The earthquake's shock, the thunder's crash,
Where ghastly terrors teeming swarm.
"Yes! Strike Again That Sounding String" by James Monroe Whitfield
All presages and prophecies of doom
Glimmered and babbled in the ghastly gloom,
And in the midst of that accursèd scene
A wolf sat howling on a broken tomb.
"The Passing Show" by Ambrose Bierce
There, faintly heard through whispering trees,
A mournful voice on Julia calls;
There, dimly seen, a blood-stained vest
Streams ghastly o'er the ivied walls.
"Julia, or the Convent of St. Claire" by Amelia Opie
The scene leapt out when the lightning flashed
And shone with a ghastly grey;
And the night sprang back to the distant range
’Neath a sky as bright as day.
"The Legend of Cooee Gully" by Henry Lawson
On windy meads where wave white breaks,
Where fettered briers' glist'ning hands
Reach to the cold moon's ghastly lands,
Hoots the lorn owl, and crouching quakes.
"The White Evening" by Madison Julius Cawein
It matter'd not whatever she might do:
O Lord Christ! pity on her ghastly face!
Those dismal hours while the cloudless blue
Drew the sun higher: He did give her grace;
"King Arthur's Tomb" by William Morris

In news:

Ghastly economy doesn't scare off Halloween spending.
The ghastly slave trade from Africa to the Atlantic sugar islands such as Madeira and São Tomé and then to the Western Hemisphere began in the mid-1400s and flourished for four centuries.
Flesh-eating zombies from AMC's "The Walking Dead" will be among the ghastly attractions of the Terror Tram during Halloween Horror Nights, Universal Studios Hollywood announced Wednesday.
In a town that has long thrived on competitive, and sometimes markedly heated, political contests, the prospect of an incumbents-only race this November in Franklin seems ghastly.
I am entering the most Ghastly Garage Contest because as you see I truly have an unmanageable mess, and my girlfriend made me enter.
Looking both ghostly and ghastly the house at 40th Ave SW & SW Morgan Street is among many in West Seattle displaying the Halloween spirit SEE THE GALLERY BELOW FOR THE SLIDESHOW.
In this game, some horrible ooze from above has corrupted crustaceans all over the seafloor, turning them into ghastly versions of their former selves.
Rwanda is best known as home to one of the most ghastly episodes of the 20th century, yet today the country is increasingly distinguished by its post-genocide turnaround that has made it the envy of neighbors.
Lily Shoemaker is dared to summon Bloody Mary – a ghastly woman from beyond the grave who, when you chant her name three times to a mirror, appears and takes eyes out.
ZeroHedge has been waiting for the student loan " bubble " to pop, and they think the "quite ghastly" third-quarter numbers might just be the beginning of the end.
If you're British, Australian or Kiwi then you'll love it but Americans and Europeans think it is ghastly stuff.
But the many doctors who've advised me over the years to take a daily multi never said the pills would rescue me from ghastly terminal illnesses.
A Ghastly Shadow in Gettysburg, PA.
Sooner or later, it happens to most of us: ghastly rust spots on a prized firearm.
The reason why this mysterious but ghastly incident occurred will provide him with the ingredients of a hit bestseller, or so he hopes.

In science:

October 2005 to wonder whether it might be a ghastly prediction.
Astrophysics in 2005