Definition of specter in English:


(British spectre)


  • 1A ghost.

    • ‘In curing speech of specters and ghosts, analytical philosophy claims to cleanse the mind of a dreamy fondness for every sort of idealism, vitalism, Platonism, and transcendentalism.’
    • ‘The castle itself was haunted, and not just be family ghosts like the Manor, but by terrifying blood drenched spectres, ghouls and a poltergeist.’
    • ‘I searched the entire throne room, expecting to find a specter or ghost pop out at any second, and my imagination slowly took over reason.’
    • ‘The train, with its dim lights, stood there like a monster spectre in the dark.’
    • ‘Of course, this scary apparition is a specter much more often cited than sighted.’
    • ‘People love to be frightened by make-believe versions of the supernatural, such as ghost stories and vividly hideous specters that pop out of the dark.’
    • ‘I didn't know why, but the invisible specter made his presence more felt.’
    • ‘The two men led us in silence, moving like two specters from something out of a ghost story.’
    • ‘Only when memory is, like the narrator's in Kesey's novel, sufficiently dim, do the dead appear as specters and ghosts.’
    • ‘They both sensed the spectre's presence at the same time.’
    • ‘A hunter of ghosts since his late teens, 35-year-old Taylor says interest in spooks, specters and other spiritual what-not is greater than ever.’
    • ‘When is the last time you played a ‘survival-horror’ game that featured specters, spirits, and ghosts as the main enemy?’
    • ‘In such a light, psychology would be the science of the double, of specters, and every photograph a double exposure.’
    • ‘It was translucent and obviously a ghost or a close variation of a specter, bowing at the young scientist courteously.’
    • ‘Earlier I compared the apparition of specters in Observe the Sons of Ulster to sequences of reverance in Macbeth and Hamlet.’
    • ‘The actress was forced to review her disbelief in ghosts when she saw a spectre at New York's Belasco Theater.’
    • ‘As more people got into the accusation game, the stories became more bizarre, with accusers claiming, for example, to have seen the specters of witches and witnessed their deeds.’
    • ‘It was as if I were following a hidden specter or ghost.’
    • ‘He believes the spectre is the ghost of Pte Crowley, of the 11th North Devonshire Regiment.’
    • ‘But the movie is mostly about people seeing ghost images on TVs, seeing specters and electronics turning themselves on and off.’
    ghost, phantom, apparition, spirit, wraith, shadow, presence, illusion
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    1. 1.1 Something widely feared as a possible unpleasant or dangerous occurrence.
      ‘the specter of nuclear holocaust’
      • ‘In China, a huge surplus and high savings are raising the specter of inflation.’
      • ‘There is not a sport within the Olympic movement that does not have a cloud hanging over it in terms of the spectre of drug abuse.’
      • ‘Biological, chemical and nuclear threats have all figured large, as has the spectre of the suicide bomber or pilot.’
      • ‘Overblown fears about social instability have created the spectre of the terrorist asylum seeker.’
      • ‘Jamieson, a lawyer, raised the spectre of legal trouble for the assembly if chiefs were not allowed to vote.’
      • ‘However, intensive care also raises the specter of treatment for treatment's sake and fears of a life prolonged needlessly by machines.’
      • ‘Our world has changed; we must adjust our living habits as necessary to address the increased danger that the specter of terrorism brings.’
      • ‘The city transportation engineer offered these encouraging words at a preferred-parking hearing, in response to a questioner who had raised the specter of counterfeit parking permits.’
      • ‘And with the creep of monetary inflation comes the specter of myriad inflationary effects, currency debasement, and progressive monetary disorder.’
      • ‘The spectre of fascism is not haunting Europe, reports Dominic Standish from Italy.’
      • ‘That was the Fed's first rate hike in four years, driven by growing evidence of a strengthening U.S. labour market and the spectre of new inflationary pressures.’
      • ‘The Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 also greatly intensified middle-class fears of the spectre of the radical Left.’
      • ‘We would have a brighter future, not threatened by the specter of global warming.’
      • ‘A final problem is the specter of human reproductive cloning - to which nearly all voters are opposed.’
      • ‘But a series of U.S. and Soviet hydrogen bomb tests reawakened public fears, this time focused on the specter of radioactive fallout.’
      • ‘The ease with which he could jump from a crisis of British farming to the spectre of biological warfare highlighted the salience of fear as a political resource today.’
      • ‘Such a government is threatened at all times by the spectre of a vote of non-confidence, forcing an election or change of government.’
      • ‘It also raises the specter of a dangerous shift toward protectionism.’
      • ‘Again, the specter of counterparty risk becomes an issue.’
      • ‘Lately she's been thinking a lot about selling her home to break free from debt, because she fears the specter of foreclosure every day.’
      threat, menace, shadow, cloud, vision
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Early 17th century: from French spectre or Latin spectrum (see spectrum).