ghastly
adjective (ghastlier; -est) Etymology: Middle English gastly, from gasten to terrify — more at gast Date: 14th century 1. a. terrifyingly horrible to the senses ; frightening <
a ghastly crime
>
b. intensely unpleasant, disagreeable, or objectionable <
such a life seems ghastly in its emptiness and sterility — Aldous Huxley
>
2. resembling a ghost 3. obsolete filled with fear 4. very great <
a ghastly mistake
>
ghastliness nounghastly adverb Synonyms: ghastly, grisly, gruesome, macabre, lurid mean horrifying and repellent in appearance or aspect. ghastly suggests the terrifying aspects of corpses and ghosts <
a ghastly accident
>
. grisly and gruesome suggest additionally the results of extreme violence or cruelty <
an unusually grisly murder
>
<
suffered a gruesome death
>
. macabre implies a morbid preoccupation with the physical aspects of death <
a macabre tale of premature burial
>
. lurid adds to gruesome the suggestion of shuddering fascination with violent death and especially with murder <
the lurid details of a crime
>
.

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • ghastly — ghastly, grisly, gruesome, macabre, grim, lurid are comparable when they mean horrifying and repellent in appearance or aspect. Ghastly suggests the terrifying aspects of death or bloodshed {the dying man s ghastly pallor} {death grinned horrible …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • Ghastly — Ghast ly, a. [Compar. {Ghastlier}; superl. {Ghastliest}.] [OE. gastlich, gastli, fearful, causing fear, fr. gasten to terrify, AS. g[ae]stan. Cf. {Aghast}, {Gast}, {Gaze}, {Ghostly}.] 1. Like a ghost in appearance; deathlike; pale; pallid; dismal …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Ghastly — Ghast ly, adv. In a ghastly manner; hideously. [1913 Webster] Staring full ghastly like a strangled man. Shak. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • ghastly — index deplorable, heinous, loathsome, lurid, repulsive Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • ghastly — (adj.) c.1300, gastlich, from gast (adj.), pp. of gasten to frighten, from O.E. gæstan to torment, frighten (see GHOST (Cf. ghost)) + lich ly. Spelling with gh developed 16c. from confusion with ghost. As an adverb, from 1580s. Related:… …   Etymology dictionary

  • ghastly — [adj] horrifying, dreadful; pale abhorrent, anemic, appalling, ashen, awful, bloodless, cadaverous, corpselike, deathlike, dim, disgusting, faint, frightening, frightful, funereal, ghostly, ghoulish, grim, grisly, gruesome, haggard, hideous,… …   New thesaurus

  • ghastly — ► ADJECTIVE (ghastlier, ghastliest) 1) causing great horror or fear. 2) deathly white or pallid. 3) informal very unpleasant. DERIVATIVES ghastliness noun. ORIGIN from obsolete gast terr …   English terms dictionary

  • ghastly — [gast′lē, gäst′lē] adj. ghastlier, ghastliest [ME gastli < gast, frightened, pp. of gasten, to frighten < OE gæstan < gæst, var. of gast (see GHOST): meaning infl. in ME by gostlich, GHOSTLY] 1. horrible; frightful 2. ghostlike; pale;… …   English World dictionary

  • ghastly — [[t]gɑ͟ːstli, gæ̱stli[/t]] 1) ADJ GRADED If you describe someone or something as ghastly, you mean that you dislike them a lot. [INFORMAL] ...a mother accompanied by her ghastly unruly child. ...a ghastly pair of white shoes... This wallpaper is… …   English dictionary

  • ghastly — adjective 1 a ghastly situation, person, experience etc is one that you do not like or enjoy at all: What ghastly weather! | I hope they don t bring their ghastly children with them. | It was absolutely ghastly. 2 making you very frightened,… …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

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