9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[spek-ter] /ˈspɛk tər/
a visible incorporeal spirit, especially one of a terrifying nature; ghost; phantom; apparition.
some object or source of terror or dread:
the specter of disease or famine.
Also, especially British, spectre.
Origin of specter
1595-1605; < Latin spectrum; see spectrum
1. shade. See ghost. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for specter
  • Surrounded by lesser figures, the striking specter nearly eight feet tall shimmers on the canyon wall under the relentless sun.
  • In fact, in long term this may raise the specter of knowledge squeeze.
  • There rises the specter of the tyranny of the majority, after the majority trades silence for tweets and blogs.
  • The specter of a highly contagious and deadly influenza is alarming indeed.
  • Their goals may be minimal and discrete, but in voicing them, they raise the specter of a more fundamental change in power.
  • She raised the specter of towing, fines, and arrest before disappearing down the street.
  • If there is a nefarious necessity in this whole debate, it is perhaps the specter of regulation.
  • But the specter of commerce-in-the-parks would not soon go away.
  • To put information in the public specter and then remove it is another statement of how bad it is getting.
  • Cities may well confront a triple specter of climate change, scarcity of energy and resources, and broken supply lines.
British Dictionary definitions for specter


a ghost; phantom; apparition
a mental image of something unpleasant or menacing: the spectre of redundancy
Word Origin
C17: from Latin spectrum, from specere to look at
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for specter

c.1600, from French spectre "an image, figure, ghost" (16c.), from Latin spectrum "appearance, vision, apparition" (see spectrum).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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