follow Dictionary.com

Capitol vs. capital? What's the difference?

ghastly

[gast-lee, gahst-] /ˈgæst li, ˈgɑst-/
adjective, ghastlier, ghastliest.
1.
shockingly frightful or dreadful; horrible:
a ghastly murder.
2.
resembling a ghost, especially in being very pale:
a ghastly look to his face.
3.
terrible; very bad:
a ghastly error.
adverb
4.
Also, ghastlily, ghastily. in a ghastly manner; horribly; terribly.
5.
with a deathlike quality.
Origin of ghastly
1275-1325
1275-1325; Middle English gastly; see ghast, -ly
Related forms
ghastliness, noun
Synonyms
2. deathlike, pallid, cadaverous.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for ghastly
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • To be able to do nothing without hurting someone—that was what was so ghastly.

    The Dark Flower John Galsworthy
  • The pain in the marshal's face became a ghastly thing to see.

    Way of the Lawless Max Brand
  • He saw the ghastly stare die out of her eyes, and the twisted lips relax from their dreadful grin.

    The Fallen Leaves Wilkie Collins
  • Her face was ghastly, save for the trace of rouge; her eyes were red-rimmed.

    K Mary Roberts Rinehart
  • This horse was of a livid, cadaverous hue, denoting an agent of ghastly, terrible nature.

British Dictionary definitions for ghastly

ghastly

/ˈɡɑːstlɪ/
adjective -lier, -liest
1.
(informal) very bad or unpleasant
2.
deathly pale; wan
3.
(informal) extremely unwell; ill: they felt ghastly after the party
4.
terrifying; horrible
adverb
5.
unhealthily; sickly: ghastly pale
6.
(archaic) in a horrible or hideous manner
Derived Forms
ghastliness, noun
Word Origin
Old English gāstlīc spiritual; see ghostly
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for ghastly
adj.

c.1300, gastlich, from gast (adj.), past participle of gasten "to frighten," from Old English gæstan "to torment, frighten" (see ghost) + -lich "-ly." Spelling with gh- developed 16c. from confusion with ghost. As an adverb, from 1580s. Related: Ghastliness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for ghastly

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for ghastly

14
14
Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for ghastly