• WordNet 3.6
    • adj ghostly resembling or characteristic of a phantom "a ghostly face at the window","a phantasmal presence in the room","spectral emanations","spiritual tappings at a seance"
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

The Ghostly Ally of Disaster The Ghostly Ally of Disaster
A woman prays; ghostly figures stand in the background A woman prays; ghostly figures stand in the background
A substantial lifelike ghost leaning over her A substantial lifelike ghost leaning over her
Jane is surrounded by imaginary ghosts and monsters Jane is surrounded by imaginary ghosts and monsters
A ghostly face stares out of a plain window A ghostly face stares out of a plain window

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Ghosts appear in 4 Shakespearian plays; Julius Caesar, Richard III, Hamlet and Macbeth.
    • Ghostly Of or pertaining to apparitions.
    • Ghostly Relating to the soul; not carnal or secular; spiritual; as, a ghostly confessor. "Save and defend us from our ghostly enemies.""One of the gostly children of St. Jerome."
    • adv Ghostly Spiritually; mystically.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: In the movie Ghost (Patrick and Demi) when Demi is making something on the pottery wheel her hands are covered in clay. But when her husband comes up behind her to give her a kiss she turns around and they are completely clean.
    • ghostly Having to do with the soul or spirit; spiritual; not of the flesh; not carnal or secular.
    • ghostly Pertaining or relating to apparitions; of ghostlike character; spectral; supernatural: as, ghostly sounds; a ghostly visitant.
    • ghostly Spiritually; mystically; mentally; with reference to the mind as contrasted with the sight.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: 10% of us claim to have seen a ghost.
    • adj Ghostly spiritual, religious: pertaining to apparitions
    • ***


  • Le Monde
    Le Monde
    “America and its demons, Europe and its ghost.”
  • Frederic Chopin
    Frederic Chopin
    “Every difficulty slurred over will be a ghost to disturb your repose later on.”
  • Charles Caleb Colton
    “Bigotry murders religion to frighten fools with her ghost.”
  • Anthony Burgess
    “All human life is here, but the Holy Ghost seems to be somewhere else.”
  • Francois De La Rochefoucauld
    “True love is like ghosts, which everybody talks about and few have seen.”
  • Francois De La Rochefoucauld
    “It is with true love as it is with ghosts; everyone talks about it, but few have seen it.”


Ghost of a chance - If something or someone hasn't got a ghost of a chance, they have no hope whatsoever of succeeding.
Ghost town - A ghost town is a town that has been abandoned or is in decline and has very little activity.
Ghostly presence - You can feel or otherwise sense a ghostly presence, but you cannot do it clearly only vaguely.
Give up the ghost - People give up the ghost when they die. Machines stop working when they give up the ghost.


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. gastlich, gostlich, AS. gāstlic,. See Ghost
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
A.S. gást; Ger. geist.


In literature:

And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost.
"The Ministry of Intercession" by Andrew Murray
She didn't seem to notice me any more than if I'd been thin air, a ghost she couldn't see.
"The Valley of Silent Men" by James Oliver Curwood
There are ghosts of many kinds, but the ghosts of those who have hung themselves are the worst.
"The Chinese Fairy Book" by Various
One night he was robbed and murdered, and his ghost still haunts the place.
"Our Next-Door Neighbors" by Belle Kanaris Maniates
Hence the modern ghosts are served up in Christmas "shockers," while the ancient ghosts are worshipped as gods.
"Flowers of Freethought" by George W. Foote
By these ghosts, by these citizens of the air, the affairs of government were administered; all authority to govern came from them.
"The Ghosts" by Robert G. Ingersoll
But the ghost sat down on the opposite side of the fire-place, as if he were quite used to it.
"A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens
And the Red Ghost, too; you want to steer clear of him.
"Elam Storm, The Wolfer" by Harry Castlemon
On the promise that its wishes would be fulfilled, the ghost withdrew, and there were no more disturbances.
"Byways of Ghost-Land" by Elliott O'Donnell
But to me the crowding ghosts of the past were here.
"Astounding Stories, April, 1931" by Various
And that carpet of radiant colors was trampled into paths that wound on to lose themselves in the half-light of that ghostly world.
"Astounding Stories, May, 1931" by Various
On reaching the spot where Drysdale had seen the ghost before, he kept close at Andrews' side, and endeavored to appear unconcerned.
"The Somnambulist and the Detective" by Allan Pinkerton
The sound broke upon the silence like a ghost-call at noonday.
"On the Heights" by Berthold Auerbach
Folks somehow are afraid of that old place, it's so big and ghost-like.
"Lost Man's Lane" by Anna Katharine Green
Some people have got an idea that this is the only dispensation of the Holy Ghost; that He didn't work until Christ was glorified.
"Secret Power" by Dwight L. Moody
The wild and ghostly in literature was what chiefly attracted him.
"Lafcadio Hearn" by Nina H. Kennard
Ghosts of the ghosts are too much for my imagination.
"The Book of Gud" by Dan Spain
But at night, so it was whispered, the boathouse had a ghostly occupant.
"Nan Sherwood at Lakeview Hall" by Annie Roe Carr
That night Dobbs went home in despair and wished he was a ghost.
"The Funny Philosophers" by George Yellott
Nothing could have looked more comfortable and less ghostly.
"Uncanny Tales" by Mary Louisa Molesworth

In poetry:

That which I saved I lost
And that I lost I found,
And you are mine, oh tender little ghost,
Whose grave is holy ground.
"Recompense: (For Lord Kilhacken)" by Katharine Tynan
Titan — my splendid rebel —
The old Prometheus
Wanes like a ghost before your power —
His pangs were joys to yours.
"Girl To A Soldier On leave" by Isaac Rosenberg
The blind goes out, and I wander
To the old, unfriendly sea,
The lonelier for the memory
That walks like a ghost with me.
"In The Placid Summer Midnight" by William Ernest Henley
But ever onward in its course
Along the haunted skies—
As though it were a cloud astray—
The ghostly dream-ship flies.
"The Dream-Ship" by Eugene Field
Will you wake wind-wafts on these stairs?
Swing the doors open noisily?
Show as an umbraged ghost beside
Your ancient tree?
"At A House In Hampstead Sometime The Dwelling Of John Keats" by Thomas Hardy
The maid was seen no more.—But oft
Her ghost is known to glide,
At midnight's silent, solemn hour,
Along the ocean's side.
"Gondoline" by Henry Kirke White

In news:

Virtual Ghosts Can Haunt Cloud Applications.
Ghostly Moves, brought the top price for a Thoroughbred of $59,500 during the New Mexico-bred Quarter Horse and Thoroughbred yearling sale Aug 18 at Ruidoso Downs.
'Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance'.
Scott Fitzgerald 's (September 24, 1896 – December 21, 1940) "A Short Trip Home" was his first ghost story.
Why bother calling Ghost Busters when you can just go to Radio Shack.
LAKE ELMO — Get in the Halloween mood at Lake Elmo Park Reserve with storyteller Dwight Wilcox as he tells spooky tales and ghostly legends by the fire 7 to 8 pm Oct 19, at the outdoor amphitheater at the Lake Elmo Park Reserve.
This episode is another one where we wish we had those wasted moments on "Ghost Cat" back.
Encounters with plunging rock, glassy water and a rumored ghost on a trip through fjord country.
'New England Ghost Files' author contributes to local folklore .
"Ghost the Musical" opened in London's West End over the summer.
After eight months in formaldehyde, the skin on the body part is ghostly white.
Checkin' in with Brooklyn's foremost ghost expert.
Another ghost town that is hidden in the forest near Missoula and Drummond is Garnet .
The annual Garnet Interpretive Day will be Saturday, June 23 at Garnet Ghost Town.
'A Haunting': Meet the Grand Rapids man whose unsettling Heritage Hill ghost story will be told on TV.

In science:

In order to determine its general form we have also to impose a ghost number prescription.
Generalized Poisson sigma models
We choose the odd coordinates τ a to have ghost number plus one.
Generalized Poisson sigma models
Such a ghost prescription was previously considered in for a master action in connection with the Dirac bracket.
Generalized Poisson sigma models
Before we analyze the general form of S that follows from the ghost prescription above, we will show that the action (1) under the condition (7) also satisfies a master equation.
Generalized Poisson sigma models
The original fields are the component fields with ghost number zero.
Generalized Poisson sigma models
The ghost numbers for Λα and Λ∗ α must be minus one and plus two respectively according to the rule (8).
Generalized Poisson sigma models
However, since the ghost number prescriptions depends on this dimension different kinds of models will then be generated. (Our formulas do not apply to odd dimensions.
Generalized Poisson sigma models
The last line in eq.(10.18) will cause no trouble in renormalization, and if we consider the contribution from ghost fields which will be introduced below, it will becomes a quantity which is independent of gravitational gauge field.
Gauge Theory of Gravity
Now, let’s discuss the contribution from ∆f (C ) which is related to the ghost fields.
Gauge Theory of Gravity
In order to evaluate the contribution from detM, we introduce ghost fields ηα(x) and ¯ηα(x).
Gauge Theory of Gravity
The appearance of the non-trivial ghost fields is a inevitable result of the non-Able nature of the gravitational gauge group.
Gauge Theory of Gravity
From the interaction Lagrangian, we can see that ghost fields do not couple to eI (C ) .
Gauge Theory of Gravity
This is the reflection of the fact that ghost fields are not physical fields, they are virtual fields.
Gauge Theory of Gravity
Using this identity in the diagram Fig. 2(a) we see that the ghost propagator is attached to the matter line through the generator D (0)α µν .
General Covariance in Quantum Gravity
This is because the vertex Dα µν Cα contains the term C α∂αhµν in which the spacetime derivatives act on the gravitational, rather than the ghost field.
General Covariance in Quantum Gravity