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[gool] /gul/
an evil demon, originally of Oriental legend, supposed to feed on human beings, and especially to rob graves, prey on corpses, etc.
a grave robber.
a person who revels in what is revolting.
1780-90; < Arabic ghūl Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for ghoul
  • After being bitten by an undead patient, a homely nurse transforms into a comely ghoul.
  • The fact that he is daily troubled by dreams dominated by a hideous ghoul isn't helping much.
  • There's not a zombie, vampire or other ghoul in sight.
  • Without the vocal flourishes and ghoul-group accessories, they'd be fairly standard pop.
  • Then enjoy pumpkin painting, face painting and our goblin and ghoul egg hunt.
British Dictionary definitions for ghoul


a malevolent spirit or ghost
a person interested in morbid or disgusting things
a person who robs graves
(in Muslim legend) an evil demon thought to eat human bodies, either stolen corpses or children
Word Origin
C18: from Arabic ghūl, from ghāla he seized
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 ghoul

1786, in the English translation of Beckford's "Vathek," from Arabic ghul, an evil spirit that robs graves and feeds on corpses, from ghala "he seized."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for ghoul

in popular legend, demonic being believed to inhabit burial grounds and other deserted places. In ancient Arabic folklore, ghuls belonged to a diabolic class of jinn (spirits) and were said to be the offspring of Iblis, the Muslim prince of darkness. They were capable of constantly changing form, but their presence was always recognizable by their unalterable sign: ass's hooves.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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