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apparition

[ap-uh-rish-uh n] /ˌæp əˈrɪʃ ən/
noun
1.
a supernatural appearance of a person or thing, especially a ghost; a specter or phantom; wraith:
a ghostly apparition at midnight.
2.
anything that appears, especially something remarkable or startling:
the surprising apparition of cowboys in New York City.
3.
an act of appearing; manifestation.
4.
Astronomy. the appearance or time when a comet, especially a periodic one, is visible:
the 1986 apparition of Halley's comet.
Origin
late Middle English
1400-1450
1400-50; late Middle English apparicio(u)n < Anglo-French, Old French < Late Latin appāritiōn- (stem of appāritiō, as calque of Greek epipháneia epiphany), equivalent to Latin appārit(us) (past participle of appārēre; see appear) + -iōn- -ion
Related forms
apparitional, adjective
nonapparitional, adjective
Synonyms
1. spirit, shade. Apparition, phantasm, phantom are terms for a supernatural appearance. An apparition of a person or thing is an immaterial appearance that seems real, and is generally sudden or startling in its manifestation: an apparition of a headless horseman. Both phantom and phantasm denote an illusory appearance, as in a dream; the former may be pleasant, while the latter is usually frightening: a phantom of loveliness; a monstrous phantasm.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for apparitions
  • In the end some subplots were eliminated, as were some of the novel's ghostly apparitions.
  • Instead of ghosts in the darkness, there are flickering apparitions on a television screen.
  • Vivi, however, seems to have last been spotted in psychic apparitions.
  • Believers continue to come to the now sacred site not only during the actual apparitions but at other times as well.
  • Stewardesses, pilots, and ground crews are interrogated about apparitions they have seen since the crash.
British Dictionary definitions for apparitions

apparition

/ˌæpəˈrɪʃən/
noun
1.
an appearance, esp of a ghost or ghostlike figure
2.
the figure so appearing; phantom; spectre
3.
the act of appearing or being visible
Word Origin
C15: from Late Latin appāritiō, from Latin: attendance, from appārēre to appear
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 apparitions

apparition

n.

c.1500, "unclosing" (of Heaven), from Anglo-French aparicion, Old French apparition, aparoison (15c.), used in reference to the Epiphany (revealing of Christ child to the Wise Men), from Late Latin apparitionem (nominative apparitio) "an appearance," also "attendants," in classical Latin "service, servants," noun of action from past participle stem of apparere "appear" (see appear). Meaning "ghost" first recorded c.1600; the shade of sense differentiation between appearance and apparition is that the latter tends to be unexpected or startling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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