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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
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. 2014.
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Examples from the web for ghastly
  • The name alone evokes dreadful visions of ghastly creatures with horrific fangs and slimy skin.
  • His sumptuous film is as strange and mesmerizing as it is imaginatively ghastly.
  • Not surprisingly, the scenarios range from ghastly to extremely ghastly.
  • My first book had a ghastly cover.
  • One day this ghastly regime will meet its match.
  • It was a monumental failure and a ghastly betrayal.
  • We can confront it only as a bleak and ghastly fact.
  • The news goes from bad to ghastly.
  • Were these weapons used the results would be ghastly.
  • Capitalism, he insists, can be just as ghastly as fascism or communism.
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
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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
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