What does ghastly mean?

Definitions for ghastly
ˈgæst li, ˈgɑst-ghast·ly

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word ghastly.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. ghastly, grim, grisly, gruesome, macabre, sickadjective

    shockingly repellent; inspiring horror

    "ghastly wounds"; "the grim aftermath of the bombing"; "the grim task of burying the victims"; "a grisly murder"; "gruesome evidence of human sacrifice"; "macabre tales of war and plague in the Middle ages"; "macabre tortures conceived by madmen"

  2. charnel, ghastly, sepulchraladjective

    gruesomely indicative of death or the dead

    "a charnel smell came from the chest filled with dead men's bones"; "ghastly shrieks"; "the sepulchral darkness of the catacombs"


  1. ghastlyadverb

    In a ghastly manner.

    He turned ghastly pale on hearing the news.

  2. ghastlyadjective

    Horrifyingly shocking.

  3. ghastlyadjective

    Extremely bad.

    The play was simply ghastly.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. GHASTLYadjective

    Etymology: gast, or ghost, and like.

    Why looks your grace so heavily to-day?
    —— O, I have past a miserable night;
    So full of ugly sights, of ghastly dreams,
    So full of dismal terrour was the time. William Shakespeare, Rich. III.

    Envy quickly discovered in court Solyman’s changed countenance upon the great bassa, and began now to shew her ghastly face. Richard Knolles, History of the Turks.

    Grinn’d horrible a ghastly smile, to hear
    His famine should be fill’d. John Milton, Paradise Lost, b. ii.

    Those departed friends, whom at our last separation we saw disfigured by all the ghastly horrours of death, we shall then see assisting about the majestick throne of Christ, with their once vile bodies transfigured into the likeness of his glorious body, mingling their glad acclamations with the hallelujahs of thrones, principalities and powers. Boyle.

    This poor man’s desolate wife,
    Expects some happy day;
    This ghastly thing, the comfort of her life. Thomas Flatman.

    He came, but with such alter’d looks,
    So wild, so ghastly, as if some ghost had met him,
    All pale and speechless. John Dryden, Spanish Fryar.

    I did not for these ghastly visions send;
    Their sudden coming does some ill portend. John Dryden, Ind. Em.

    I who make the triumph of to-day,
    May of to-morrow’s pomp one part appear,
    Ghastly with wounds, and lifeless on the bier! Matthew Prior.

    To be less than gods
    Disdain’d; but meaner thoughts learn’d in their flight,
    Mangled with ghastly wounds through plate and mail. John Milton.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Ghastly

    like a ghost in appearance; deathlike; pale; pallid; dismal

  2. Ghastly

    horrible; shocking; dreadful; hideous

  3. Ghastlyadverb

    in a ghastly manner; hideously

  4. Etymology: [OE. gastlich, gastli, fearful, causing fear, fr. gasten to terrify, AS. gstan. Cf. Aghast, Gast, Gaze, Ghostly.]

How to pronounce ghastly?

How to say ghastly in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of ghastly in Chaldean Numerology is: 2

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of ghastly in Pythagorean Numerology is: 2

Examples of ghastly in a Sentence

  1. Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna of Russia:

    A moment later I remembered that the young woman having spent five years in Germany, would naturally have learnt the language, but then I heard that when she was rescued from that canal in 1920, she spoke nothing but German – when she spoke at all- which was not often. I readily admit that a ghastly horror experienced in one’s youth can work havoc with one’s memory but I have never heard of any ghastly experience endowing anyone with a knowledge they had not had before it happened. My nieces knew no German at all. Mrs Anderson did not seem to understand a word of Russian or English, the two languages all the four sisters had spoken since babyhood. French came a little later, but German was never spoken in the family.

  2. Clive Staples Lewis:

    Just a hurried line...to tell a story which puts the contrast between *our* feast of the Nativity and all this ghastly Xmas racket at it's lowest. My brother heard a woman on a 'bus say, as the 'bus passed a church with a Crib outside it, Oh Lor' They bring religion into everything. Look- they're dragging it even into Christmas now

  3. Bryan Holcombe:

    Sutherland Springs’s just not a problem to us, we know exactly where the family is, and Sutherland Springs’s not going to be long until we ’ll both be there, he said. And we’re really sort of looking forward to Sutherland Springs. Crystal Holcombes were upbeat and full of good humor during a telephone interview, and they are not an exception in this deeply evangelical part of Texas. What is so striking about relatives and friends of the 26 victims of the church shooting in Sutherland Springs is that they all believe good will come from this act of evil and that their loved ones are now safe for eternity, and breathing again, with God. Psychologists say such deep faith can help families deal with such a ghastly event. Even so, they warn that leaning too heavily on one’s religious beliefs can stunt the natural grieving period and result in post-traumatic stress later.

  4. Emma Thompson:

    The first time I was nominated, I didn't know anything about the Oscars. That was almost 15 years ago. I just did Oscar week and enjoyed it very much because I was with my mum. Even so, each time it's happened I've come down with some ghastly infection. It is overwhelming for people. It has nothing to do really at all with your performance. It comes down to if you get an Oscar for your film, then the revenue for your film goes up. They mean a great deal. I can't deny it.

  5. Andrew Gimson:

    He's not an old-style 'Euroskeptic' who takes his own tea bag with him when he gets on the channel ferry to go to some place full of ghastly foreigners, he's very good at putting the moderate case and speaking of having a relationship with Europe -- he just doesn't want Europe to be telling us what to do.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for ghastly

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • horripilante, espantosoSpanish
  • kauhea, kauhistuttava, kaamea, kamalaFinnish
  • rettenetes, szörnyűHungarian
  • pessimo, terrificante, spaventoso, terribile, agghiaccianteItalian
  • afgrijselijk, afschuwelijk, verschrikkelijk, abominabelDutch
  • horripilante, medonho, assustadorPortuguese
  • groaznic, oribil, lamentabilRomanian
  • ужа́сный, отврати́тельный, стра́шныйRussian

Get even more translations for ghastly »


Find a translation for the ghastly definition in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Gaeilge (Irish)
  • Українська (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:

Discuss these ghastly definitions with the community:

1 Comment


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"ghastly." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 11 Aug. 2022. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/ghastly>.

Are we missing a good definition for ghastly? Don't keep it to yourself...

Browse Definitions.net

Free, no signup required:

Add to Chrome

Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

Free, no signup required:

Add to Firefox

Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!


Are you a words master?

good luck in making unexpected and fortunate discoveries
  • A. lumberman
  • B. leaven
  • C. recital
  • D. serendipity

Nearby & related entries:

Alternative searches for ghastly: