What does ghastly mean?

Definitions for ghastly
ˈgæst li, ˈgɑst-ghast·ly

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage 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.


  1. ghastly

    Ghastly refers to something that is extremely shocking, horrifying or terrifying often associated with death or any form of extreme suffering. It can also mean extremely unwell or unpleasant.

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. 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.

  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. Prime Minister David Cameron:

    It's desperate stuff from an organization that really does do the most utterly despicable and ghastly acts, and people can see that again today, this is an organization that's losing territory, it's losing ground ... Britain will never be cowed by this sort of terrorism, our values are so much stronger than theirs. It may take a very long time but they will be defeated.

  4. 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.

  5. Piers Morgan:

    Theres nothing sleazy about it, or nasty, or even remotely problematic to quote the ghastly buzzword of modern-day political correctness.

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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

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"ghastly." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 3 Oct. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/ghastly>.

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1 Comment
  • Anuruddika Methisge
    Anuruddika Methisge
    LikeReply3 years ago

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out of condition; not strong or robust; incapable of exertion or endurance
  • A. inexpiable
  • B. repugnant
  • C. tenebrous
  • D. flabby

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