Definition of phantom in English:

phantom

noun

  • 1A ghost.

    ‘a phantom who haunts lonely roads’
    as modifier ‘a phantom ship’
    figurative ‘the centrist and conservative parties were mere phantoms in 1943’
    • ‘Cigarette smoked choked the fresh, crisp night air like a phantom descending upon its haunt.’
    • ‘Gerry and Cynthia Bridgwood are being spooked by a phantom benefactor - who spirits gifts of bric-a-brac into their Cheshire country pub.’
    • ‘It is like a medieval, deserted castle that is full of phantoms and ghosts, and this makes you feel sick - you just want to run away, far from these cold, scary walls.’
    • ‘He was crying out to ghost pedestrians, phantoms incapable of reacting in any other way but unbridled fear.’
    • ‘A few years later, two more British sailors saw the phantom ship as they sailed around the cape.’
    • ‘Creoles speak of a phantom pirate ship seen at night, lit by flickering lanterns.’
    • ‘Lanser Hall was one of the oldest dorms and laboratories on campus and hadn't been used due to the rumor of a phantom that haunted them.’
    • ‘The experienced earth lends something of its atmosphere to every world that we can conceive, and hence haunts these other worlds like a phantom.’
    • ‘Loosely based on an old Montreal myth about a phantom ship and a shadowy captain (according to the poorly translated English press release), the maze is made up of five connected game zones.’
    • ‘This time out, the author collects some chilling accounts of coal mine ghosts, phantoms.’
    • ‘She was haunting him, like a phantom in the night.’
    • ‘Four fearless women are preparing to spend the night in the company of ghosts, ghouls and phantoms to raise money for the Abbeyfield care home where they work.’
    • ‘Science is first and foremost a recognition that the objective world of nature is comprehensible on its own terms, without recourse to phantoms, spirits or inexplicable forces.’
    • ‘The State Tourist Department can arrange for a sightseeing trip for the female ghost of the old city and phantoms in Banjara Hills.’
    • ‘His face is distorted, making him look like a phantom haunting a ruin.’
    • ‘Strange phantoms haunt this room day and night.’
    • ‘But the phantoms of the evil ones haunted this particular hallway on Floor 13, making it an abandoned site.’
    • ‘Then, in a room filled with Halloween images of ghosts and phantoms, Duncan Smith got his chance to show his hidden talents - at the pool table.’
    • ‘The young man in question slowly emerged form the pitch-black shadows of the closet as eerily as a phantom.’
    • ‘The Han Wei became a phantom ship after pirates seized it on March 15 on a voyage from Singapore to Rangoon.’
    ghost, apparition, spirit, spectre, wraith, shadow
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A figment of the imagination.
      ‘he tried to clear the phantoms from his head and grasp reality’
      as modifier ‘the women suffered from phantom pain that no physician could ever find’
      • ‘I said in my previous letter that I felt that somewhere, in the deep recesses of his mind, there may be the merest phantom of a thought that I might be right.’
      • ‘As we said before, the brand is a phantom, a cypher, figments of the popular imagination that have somehow become the essential conduit for cultural information about objects.’
      • ‘The Tory revival is a phantom, the imagined product of a media despairing of another utterly predictable election result.’
      • ‘It was total voyeurism, and several people who were on the show had trouble afterwards adjusting to the fact that their fame was illusory - a deceiving phantom.’
      • ‘At long last, when each felt assured that the other was real, and not some phantom of imagination, their lips parted.’
      • ‘But, alas, like all conjured foes, the biblical piety contained in his book is a mere phantom of the real thing.’
      • ‘While his mind had been pursuing its intangible phantoms and turning in irresolution from such pursuit he had heard about him the constant voices of his father and of his masters, urging him to be a gentleman above all things.’
      figment of the imagination, delusion, hallucination, illusion, chimera, vision, fantasy, mirage
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2as modifier Denoting a financial arrangement or transaction that has been invented for fraudulent purposes but that does not really exist.
      ‘he diverted an estimated $1,500,000 into “phantom” bank accounts’
      • ‘This problem of built-in gains is related to another phenomenon: phantom year-end income.’
      • ‘The only difference is that when you deal in phantom money, you also earn phantom profits, but imagine the new horizons this experience must have opened up for many a team member.’
      • ‘He also swore a financial statement, which indicated that he had phantom stock units and stock options.’
      • ‘Like stock options, phantom stock must be expensed throughout its vesting period.’
      • ‘A common practice in retailing mined diamond jewelry is to use phantom prices and then show impressive discounts in an effort to lure buyers.’
      • ‘But there's an easier way to avoid phantom interest that will also provide you with some financial security.’

Origin

Middle English (also in the sense ‘illusion, delusion’): from Old French fantosme, based on Greek phantasma (see phantasm).

Pronunciation

phantom

/ˈfæn(t)əm//ˈfan(t)əm/