Definition of aghast in US English:



  • predicative Filled with horror or shock.

    ‘when the news came out they were aghast’
    • ‘We stood open mouthed and the English couples dining were all aghast at this behaviour.’
    • ‘Television cameras exposed the errors, viewers were aghast and the sport's officials were left red-faced.’
    • ‘She imitates his nasal hee-haw very loudly and we look on, aghast.’
    • ‘I am aghast (and too much of a puritan to be comfortable with such time-wasting).’
    • ‘Recently, Macintosh and his wife, Claire, had family pictures taken and were aghast to see how much they seem to have aged in the year.’
    • ‘Mr. Iyengar, who specialises in laws related to intellectual property rights, was aghast.’
    • ‘The church volunteers who serve it were aghast and flabbergasted.’
    • ‘The Clonmore man looked on aghast but was quickly granted a reprieve.’
    • ‘He would be aghast at the spread of materialism and greed, and angry at our indifference to poverty and deprivation.’
    • ‘Like so many of your correspondents I too am appalled, aghast and ashamed.’
    • ‘On the other hand, most readers would probably be appalled and aghast at this stuff.’
    • ‘I am aghast with horror that at this late stage in the day, we are still having to have this argument.’
    • ‘I'd asked, aghast, since Hardy was so obviously sympathetic to women.’
    • ‘There are, however, many decent Christians who are horrified and aghast.’
    • ‘One woman, who moved to the area in the summer of 2003, was aghast at the horror in her own backyard.’
    • ‘He must be aghast at England's dismal results, even if he does not blame Robinson for the lack of a global vision for the defence of the world title.’
    • ‘People are truly aghast by what had to have been a pre-mediated attack.’
    • ‘One telling anecdote earlier this year had watchdog watchers aghast and amazed.’
    • ‘The court was utterly speechless, they were aghast at her rude behavior.’
    • ‘Hark looks on aghast at his ruined production, but snaps out of it when the audience responds with a standing ovation.’
    horrified, appalled, astounded, amazed, dismayed, thunderstruck, stunned, shocked, shell-shocked, in shock, flabbergasted, staggered, taken aback, speechless, awestruck, open-mouthed, wide-eyed
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Late Middle English: past participle of the obsolete verb agast, gast ‘frighten’, from Old English gǣsten. The spelling with gh (originally Scots) became general by about 1700, probably influenced by ghost; compare with ghastly.