Definition of ghastly in English:

ghastly

adjective

  • 1Causing great horror or fear.

    ‘one of the most ghastly crimes ever committed’
    • ‘It was not just the ghastly silence that inspired fear.’
    • ‘But the horror was just too ghastly to verbalize.’
    • ‘India has had plenty of ghastly crimes, but this was arguably the worst of the lot.’
    • ‘So many reports were prepared of the ghastly crime against humanity and still that work is going on.’
    • ‘But they vowed: ‘We will not rest until the monster responsible for this ghastly crime is brought to justice and is behind bars.’’
    • ‘There is no way for us to escape this horrible, ghastly death.’
    • ‘The more spectacular and ghastly the terrorist deed, the greater the concentration of minds.’
    • ‘The door swung open, and poor Jelvin's mother's eyes beheld the most ghastly sight they would ever see.’
    • ‘When perpetrators of ghastly crimes are tried, we almost always hear the victims' families' calls for vengeance.’
    • ‘Soon, however, the ghastly spectacle was to erupt on the streets itself.’
    • ‘It was a ghastly sight, indeed hardly ever paralleled.’
    • ‘Transfixed, discomforted, we can't turn away from the spectacle as it lurches into even more ghastly territory.’
    • ‘Matching the words of the song to the images, we begin to ponder a possible explanation - from a ‘crime passionelle’ to a ghastly workplace accident, or even a bizarre suicide.’
    • ‘But when we looked up, the fires and smoke shifted from ghastly spectacle to specific human horror.’
    • ‘Much of what we see is ghastly and all too real; terrible anguish and sorrow.’
    • ‘What began as a simple missing persons inquiry developed into an international murder hunt described as one of the most ghastly investigations ever undertaken by Greater Manchester Police.’
    • ‘Thus, even the book's most ghastly events are stripped of their horror, and so of their dramatic power as well.’
    • ‘Their ghastly killings still strike fear, dread and disgust in the communities they pillaged.’
    • ‘But as a film it takes us inside a country in ghastly strife and serves to remind us that the horrors outside what's presented in the film were a thousand times worse than what we see.’
    • ‘For others it was a slaughter of the innocents, a ghastly reminder of the horrors and insanity of war.’
    terrible, frightful, horrible, grim, awful, dire
    serious, severe, grave, very bad, grievous, dreadful, terrible, awful, frightful, dire
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  • 2Extremely unwell.

    ‘she had sobered up but she felt ghastly’
    ill, unwell, washed out, peaky
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    1. 2.1 Deathly white.
      ‘a ghastly pallor’
      • ‘Her skin had a ghastly gray pallor, with dark smudges of sleeplessness under her eyes.’
      • ‘If her face was pale before, it was nothing compared to the ghastly appearance at the moment.’
      • ‘His face was ghastly white, tears streaming down his face.’
      • ‘His eyes were a bright red, and his skin was ghastly pale.’
      • ‘Pale full pink lips hardly contrasted to the ghastly white fair skin on his face.’
      • ‘After he left her go, her face turned a ghastly color - nearly white.’
      • ‘The blue vein was extremely easy to see in his ghastly pale skin.’
      • ‘His black hair was drawn up in thick spikes, and he had a sallow face which was a ghastly white.’
      • ‘In the span of a few short minutes, her skin had become a ghastly shade of blue and she felt deathly cold.’
      • ‘Her mother's eyes widened when she read the signature, and her face turned a ghastly shade of white.’
      • ‘The flow of tears finally ended and some color returned to her ghastly, pale face.’
      • ‘There was no mistaking those ghastly eyes and pale white skin.’
      • ‘Slowly, Sam turned his head to catch a glimpse of ghastly pale skin and long white hair decorated around a bright gem-like eye.’
      • ‘Her right arm came up, and pushed a hidden button on her forehead, and the helmet disappeared, replaced by a ghastly pale white head with green hair falling down her shoulders.’
      • ‘The blood flowed and showed ghastly red against his pale skin.’
      • ‘From her ghastly pale face, Tom can tell that she was not healthy at all.’
      • ‘His face was ghastly white and his eyes were black and beady.’
      • ‘Her lips were shrivelled and pale, her skin a ghastly white.’
      • ‘Every time I've looked in the mirror, I'm this pale, ghastly thing.’
      • ‘Her face was pale and ghastly, her eyes leaking tears faster and faster.’
      pale, white, pallid, pasty, pasty-faced, wan, colourless, anaemic, bloodless, washed out, peaky, peakish, ashen, ashen-faced, ashy, chalky, chalk-white, grey, whitish, white-faced, whey-faced, waxen, waxy, blanched, drained, pinched, green, sickly, sallow, as white as a sheet, as white as a ghost, deathly pale, cadaverous, corpse-like, ghostlike, spectral
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  • 3informal Very objectionable, bad, or unpleasant.

    ‘the weather was ghastly’
    • ‘Coupled with a sincere belief in her innate cooking sense, this lack resulted in some spectacularly ghastly meals.’
    • ‘One Kansas farmer lined his field with ghastly wind ornaments, rough cut from sheet metal and painted with slogans mocking liberal causes and government tyranny.’
    • ‘Rose expected the smell to be ghastly and terrible, but it wasn't.’
    • ‘With his ghastly haircut and appalling dress sense, and his strange mannerisms, he is, nevertheless a giant of a man.’
    • ‘Such moments are unpleasant but are not as ghastly as having to do it deliberately.’
    • ‘I pointed out that apart from the colours being ghastly, they were also dangerous for children.’
    • ‘The way Mrs. Keates was carrying on about her hair and her dress and her ghastly perfume, you would think she was being presented to the King himself rather than just going to supper.’
    • ‘She works in the kitchen, and sometimes she cleans the chamber pots in the house, which I would find downright ghastly and appalling.’
    • ‘He is fixed on this ghastly image, this odd aesthetic object.’
    • ‘I can't get the images out of my mind and this ghastly sick feeling inside my stomach.’
    • ‘Oh dear; why on earth did they pick such a ghastly canary yellow colour?’
    • ‘Hopefully it will embarrass those involved as they will have to travel into school on a ghastly coloured pink bus.’
    • ‘The prospect of the team splitting up and going their separate ways is too ghastly to contemplate.’
    • ‘It may sound simple but the implications of any fuel price hike are always too ghastly to contemplate.’
    • ‘She is confined to her bed with ghastly old-fashioned furniture and state-supermarket fare.’
    • ‘Therefore, I shall proceed forthwith to the essentials of the matter and preclude contemplation of such ghastly departures from proper form.’
    • ‘A ghastly terrible obscene waste of human life.’
    • ‘It would be too ghastly to contemplate the outcome of such an action.’
    • ‘When I started to take photographs they were all ghastly, except by accident.’
    • ‘So if that was a nightmare this will be too ghastly too contemplate.’
    unpleasant, objectionable, offensive, disagreeable, distasteful, displeasing, unacceptable, off-putting, undesirable, obnoxious
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Origin

Middle English: from obsolete gast ‘terrify’, from Old English gǣstan, of Germanic origin; related to ghost. The gh spelling is by association with ghost. The sense ‘objectionable’ dates from the mid 19th century.

Pronunciation

ghastly

/ˈɡɑːs(t)li/