noun Chiefly British.
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World English Dictionary
spectre or (US) specter (ˈspɛktə)
1.  a ghost; phantom; apparition
2.  a mental image of something unpleasant or menacing: the spectre of redundancy
[C17: from Latin spectrum, from specere to look at]
specter or (US) specter
[C17: from Latin spectrum, from specere to look at]

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

British spelling of specter (q.v.); for suffix, see -re.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
We will walk without the spectre of hypocrisy to haunt our footfalls.
Unemployment is at the highest level in six years and the spectre of deflation
  has re-emerged.
The spectre of jobless growth haunts a government that has promised to cut
However all this sure raises a spectre of a quicksand or a financial quagmire.
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