Definition of lay a (or the) ghost in US English:

lay a (or the) ghost

phrase

  • 1Exorcise a ghost.

    • ‘Mick said there were stories of various attempts to lay the ghost.’
    • ‘And perhaps some form of exorcism or " laying the ghost ".’
    1. 1.1 Get rid of a distressing, frightening, or worrying memory or thought.
      ‘we need to lay the ghost of the past and move ahead’
      • ‘Perhaps incorporating the brand in staffing will lay the ghost to rest.’
      • ‘Can it lay the ghost of the Roman imperium and become something other than a male gerontocracy?’
      • ‘If you set out to lay a ghost by writing a novel, it may or may not end up being a good book.’
      • ‘But she's also keen to lay a ghost from her past that could also provide her with some hope for the future.’
      • ‘As long as it persists, Japan will never lay the ghost of its past.’
      • ‘Having eaten and rested it was time once again to lay the ghosts to rest and pay respects to the many Germans who had fallen in the desert.’
      • ‘I think, accordingly, the best thing for me to do is, to sit down and lay the ghost by writing out my story.’
      • ‘Claire after winning € 20,000 on a lottery ticket heads off to Greece with her young daughter to lay the ghosts of her past to rest.’
      • ‘For me, drawing's uniqueness has something to do with the fundamental activity of actually trying to lay a ghost or exorcise oneself.’
      • ‘It is as hard for a man to escape assassination as it is to lay a ghost.’
      • ‘It won't lay a ghost overnight, but such a campaign might stop anarchy and chaos for ever haunting football yet to come.’
      • ‘Valentukevicius, however, wants to lay the ghosts of the war to rest forever.’
      • ‘Cougars are out for revenge against Sheffield Eagles on Sunday - to lay the ghosts of last year's nightmare defeats.’
      • ‘It is entirely up to you what type of publication you have and up to us to present it in a way that will make you smile, feel proud or even lay a ghost to rest by way of cathartic exercise.’
      • ‘It felt like I wanted to reconcile with them, to lay a ghost, but I never managed to.’
      • ‘Having said that, this is an opportunity to lay a ghost to rest and rehearse a form of communication that is common in professional practice.’
      • ‘British Airways wants to lay the ghost of the victorious unofficial walkouts by check-in staff in July 2003.’
      • ‘A virtual passenger four years ago against France following pre-match convulsions, the 25-year-old was clearly a man who had laid a ghost to rest.’
      • ‘Once you have laid a ghost to rest, he or she can join your team and you can use them in future missions.’
      • ‘The army prided itself in re-establishing its deterrence over Hamas, laying the ghosts of Lebanon in 2006.’