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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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British Dictionary definitions for apparitional

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 apparitional
apparition
1520s, from Anglo-Fr. aparicion, from O.Fr. apparition, used in reference to the Epiphany (revealing of Christ child to the Wise Men), from L.L. apparitionem (nom. apparitio) "an appearance," also "attendants," in classical Latin "service, servants," from pp. stem of apparere "appear" (see appear). Meaning "ghost" first recorded c.1600.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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