Definition of ghostly in English:



  • Of or like a ghost in appearance or sound; eerie and unnatural.

    ‘a frightening, ghostly figure with a hood’
    • ‘Long gone are the days when all it took for a good fright was an unexpected ghostly face to appear onscreen.’
    • ‘And there's no shortage of folk willing to go public about their ghostly experiences.’
    • ‘The story is connected to the present by a woman, renting a cottage in Haworth, who sees a ghostly figure.’
    • ‘A ghostly figure appeared next to Max and stood, watching the band with him.’
    • ‘Strange noises, ghostly footsteps and ice cold winds haunt staff working late into the night.’
    • ‘Paul's ghostly figure followed behind, unseen and undetected by everyone but her.’
    • ‘Her ghostly figure has been seen at the foot of the stairs by visitors and staff.’
    • ‘You start in the catacombs but beware ghostly ghouls at every turn!’
    • ‘Jackson has wide, ghostly eyes, unusually pale skin, and traces of a beard and moustache.’
    • ‘Outside, through the open door, ghostly fleets of bicycles glided past.’
    • ‘So that ghostly form that appears in front of your car at night may very well be a tawny.’
    • ‘The ghostly blue light of a television flickered behind the curtains.’
    • ‘The original house was built on an ancient graveyard and its last owner is rumoured to have fled in terror at the ghostly goings on.’
    • ‘In the harsh light cast by the sun against the snow, she appeared ghostly, unreal, eerily beautiful.’
    • ‘Often eerie and ghostly, but always captivating, these songs simply demand your attention.’
    • ‘There have been reported sightings of a ghostly figure wandering through the pub in Shirley.’
    • ‘Survivors, covered from head to toe in white dust, cut ghostly figures as they stood coughing.’
    • ‘Her eyes widened, as she stared at a ghostly figure, standing in the middle of the clearing.’
    • ‘Her whole body has a ghostly appearance, although there's nothing to see through it.’
    • ‘Yet when we look again, they are simultaneously pale, frozen, ghostly and glassy eyed.’
    ghostlike, spectral, phantom, wraithlike, phantasmal, phantasmic, unearthly, unnatural, supernatural, other-worldly, insubstantial, illusory, unreal, shadowy, eerie, weird, uncanny, mysterious, magical, mystic, strange, abnormal, freakish
    frightening, spine-chilling, hair-raising, blood-curdling, scaring, terrifying, petrifying, chilling, sinister
    creepy, scary, spooky, freaky
    View synonyms


Old English gāstlic, from gāst ‘ghost’.