[hawnt, hahnt; for 10 also hant]
verb (used with object)
to visit habitually or appear to frequently as a spirit or ghost: to haunt a house; to haunt a person.
to recur persistently to the consciousness of; remain with: Memories of love haunted him.
to visit frequently; go to often: He haunted the galleries and bars that the artists went to.
to frequent the company of; be often with: He haunted famous men, hoping to gain celebrity for himself.
to disturb or distress; cause to have anxiety; trouble; worry: His youthful escapades came back to haunt him.
verb (used without object)
to reappear continually as a spirit or ghost.
to visit habitually or regularly.
to remain persistently; loiter; stay; linger.
Often, haunts. a place frequently visited: to return to one's old haunts.
Chiefly Midland and Southern U.S. and North England. a ghost.

1200–50; Middle English haunten < Old French hanter to frequent, probably < Old Norse heimta to lead home, derivative of heim homewards; see home

haunter, noun

3. frequent. 5. obsess, beset, vex, plague.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
haunt (hɔːnt)
1.  to visit (a person or place) in the form of a ghost
2.  (tr) to intrude upon or recur to (the memory, thoughts, etc): he was haunted by the fear of insanity
3.  to visit (a place) frequently
4.  to associate with (someone) frequently
5.  (often plural) a place visited frequently: an old haunt of hers
6.  a place to which animals habitually resort for food, drink, shelter, etc
[C13: from Old French hanter, of Germanic origin; compare Old Norse heimta to bring home, Old English hāmettan to give a home to; see home]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

early 13c., from O.Fr. hanter "to frequent, resort to, be familiar with" (12c.), probably from O.N. heimta "bring home," from P.Gmc. *khaimat-janan, from *khaimaz- (see home). Use in ref. to a spirit returning to the house where it had lived perhaps was in P.Gmc., but it was
reinforced by Shakespeare's plays, and it is first recorded 1590 in "A Midsummer Night's Dream." The noun meaning "spirit that haunts a place, ghost" is first recorded 1843, originally in stereotypical U.S. black speech. Haunts (n.) "place or places one frequents" is early 14c., from the verb.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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