Spooks

spook

[spook]
noun
1.
Informal. a ghost; specter.
2.
Slang. a ghostwriter.
3.
Slang. an eccentric person.
4.
Slang: Disparaging and Offensive. a black person.
5.
Slang. an espionage agent; spy.
verb (used with object)
6.
to haunt; inhabit or appear in or to as a ghost or specter.
7.
Informal. to frighten; scare.
verb (used without object)
8.
Informal. to become frightened or scared: The fish spooked at any disturbance in the pool.

Origin:
1795–1805, Americanism; < Dutch; cognate with German Spuk

spookery, noun
spookish, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
spook (spuːk)
 
n
1.  a ghost or a person suggestive of this
2.  (US), (Canadian) a spy
3.  slang (South African) any pale or colourless alcoholic spirit: spook and diesel
 
vb
4.  to frighten: to spook horses; to spook a person
5.  (of a ghost) to haunt
 
[C19: Dutch spook, from Middle Low German spōk ghost]
 
'spookish
 
adj

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

spook
1801, from Du. spook, from M.Du. spooc "spook, ghost," from a common Gmc. source (cf. Ger. Spuk "ghost, apparition," M.L.G. spok "spook," Swed. spok "scarecrow, Norw. spjok "ghost, specter," Dan. spøg "joke"), of unknown origin. Possible outside connections include Lettish spigana "dragon, witch,"
spiganis "will o' the wisp," Lith. spingu, spingeti "to shine," O.Pruss. spanksti "spark." Meaning "undercover agent" is attested from 1942. The verb is first recorded 1867 in sense of "to walk or act like a ghost;" meaning "to unnerve" is from 1935. The derogatory racial sense of "black person" is attested from 1940s, perhaps from notion of dark skin being difficult to see at night. Black pilots trained at Tuskegee Institute during World War II called themselves the Spookwaffe. Spooky is from 1854.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang Dictionary

spook definition


  1. tv.
    to frighten or startle someone or something. (See also spooked.) : Something I did spooked the teller, and she set off the silent alarm.
  2. n.
    a spy; a CIA (U.S. Central Intelligence Agency) agent. : I just learned that my uncle had been a spook for years.
Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions by Richard A. Spears.Fourth Edition.
Copyright 2007. Published by McGraw-Hill Education.
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