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haunt

[hawnt, hahnt; for 10 also hant] /hɔnt, hɑnt; for 10 also hænt/
verb (used with object)
1.
to visit habitually or appear to frequently as a spirit or ghost:
to haunt a house; to haunt a person.
2.
to recur persistently to the consciousness of; remain with:
Memories of love haunted him.
3.
to visit frequently; go to often:
He haunted the galleries and bars that the artists went to.
4.
to frequent the company of; be often with:
He haunted famous men, hoping to gain celebrity for himself.
5.
to disturb or distress; cause to have anxiety; trouble; worry:
His youthful escapades came back to haunt him.
verb (used without object)
6.
to reappear continually as a spirit or ghost.
7.
to visit habitually or regularly.
8.
to remain persistently; loiter; stay; linger.
noun
9.
Often, haunts. a place frequently visited:
to return to one's old haunts.
10.
Chiefly Midland and Southern U.S. and North England. a ghost.
Origin
1200-1250
1200-50; Middle English haunten < Old French hanter to frequent, probably < Old Norse heimta to lead home, derivative of heim homewards; see home
Related forms
haunter, noun
Synonyms
3. frequent. 5. obsess, beset, vex, plague.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for haunts
  • Both groups reclaimed old haunts with unanticipated gusto.
  • Mesmerized by such descriptions the scientists have tried, albeit unsuccessfully, to find the haunts of the elusive creature.
  • He was certain that the cunning old bull would return to his favorite haunts in the delta.
  • Its guides are true, its lodges neat and tidy, and its outdoor haunts bursting with legend.
  • Legend has it that a painter who killed himself still haunts the upper levels of the tower.
  • All the old haunts seem to be closed while the owners are on vacation.
  • The lighthouse, the libraries, and other haunts of ancient nerds and geeks.
  • There are several places nearby that are considered real haunts.
  • And yet the fact of the matter is, is that this still haunts us.
  • There were rows of houses which he had never seen before, and those which had been his familiar haunts had disappeared.
British Dictionary definitions for haunts

haunt

/hɔːnt/
verb
1.
to visit (a person or place) in the form of a ghost
2.
(transitive) 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
noun
5.
(often pl) a place visited frequently: an old haunt of hers
6.
a place to which animals habitually resort for food, drink, shelter, etc
Derived Forms
haunter, noun
Word Origin
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 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 haunts
n.

"place or places one frequents," early 14c.; see haunt (n.).

haunt

v.

early 13c., "to practice habitually, busy oneself with, take part in," from Old French hanter "to frequent, resort to, be familiar with" (12c.), probably from Old Norse heimta "bring home," from Proto-Germanic *haimat-janan, from *haimaz- (see home). Meaning "to frequent (a place)" is c.1300 in English. Use in reference to a spirit returning to the house where it had lived perhaps was in Proto-Germanic, but it was reinforced by Shakespeare's plays, and it is first recorded 1590 in "A Midsummer Night's Dream." Related: Haunted; haunting. Middle English hauntingly meant "frequently;" sense of "so as to haunt one's thoughts or memory" is from 1859.

n.

"place frequently visited," c.1300, also in Middle English, "habit, custom" (early 14c.), from haunt (v.). The meaning "spirit that haunts a place, ghost" is first recorded 1843, originally in stereotypical U.S. black speech.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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