follow Dictionary.com

Why is the ninth month called September?

poltergeist

[pohl-ter-gahyst] /ˈpoʊl tərˌgaɪst/
noun
1.
a ghost or spirit supposed to manifest its presence by noises, knockings, etc.
Origin
1840-1850
1840-50; < German Poltergeist, equivalent to polter(n) to make noise, knock, rattle + Geist ghost
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples for poltergeist
  • But she's dark and driven: there's something of the poltergeist about her.
  • The drawers of a wobbly dresser periodically opened by themselves, as if the room had a poltergeist.
  • There is a poltergeist named peeves in the harry potter books.
  • This is the opposite of a poltergeist a spirit obsessed with cleaning and tidying.
British Dictionary definitions for poltergeist

poltergeist

/ˈpɒltəˌɡaɪst/
noun
1.
a spirit believed to manifest its presence by rappings and other noises and also by acts of mischief, such as throwing furniture about
Word Origin
C19: from German, from poltern to be noisy + Geistghost
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 poltergeist
n.

1838, from German Poltergeist, literally "noisy ghost," from poltern "make noise, rattle" (from PIE root *bhel- (4) "to sound, ring, roar;" cf. bellow, bell) + Geist "ghost" (see ghost). In the native idiom of Northern England, such phenomenon likely would be credited to a boggart.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Article for poltergeist

(from German Polter, "noise" or "racket"; Geist, "spirit"), in occultism, a disembodied spirit or supernatural force credited with certain malicious or disturbing phenomena, such as inexplicable noises, sudden wild movements, or breakage of household items. Poltergeists are also blamed for violent actions-throwing stones or setting fire to clothing and furniture. Such events are said to be sporadic, unpredictable, and often repetitive.

Learn more about poltergeist with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for poltergeist

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for poltergeist

14
0
Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for poltergeist