- The definition of ghastly is something repellent, horrible, frightful, ugly, macabre or sickly.
- Bad injuries that are so horrible you have to look away are an example of ghastly injuries.
- A person who is very pale and sick is an example of someone who would be described as looking ghastly.
- A really ugly wallpaper is an example of something you would describe as ghastly wallpaper.
ghastly definition by Webster's New World
- horrible; frightful
- ghostlike; pale; haggard
- Informal very bad or unpleasant
Origin: Middle English gastli ; from gast, frightened, past participle of gasten, to frighten ; from Old English gæstan ; from gæst, variant, variety of gast (see ghost): meaning influenced, influence in Middle English by gostlich, ghostly
- ghastliness noun
ghastly definition by American Heritage Dictionary
adjective ghast·li·er, ghast·li·est
- Inspiring shock, revulsion, or horror by or as if by suggesting death; terrifying: a ghastly murder.
- Suggestive of or resembling ghosts.
- Extremely unpleasant or bad: “in the most abominable passage of his ghastly little book” (Conor Cruise O'Brien).
- Very serious or great: a ghastly error.
Origin: Alteration (influenced by ghost) of Middle English gastli, from gasten, to terrify; see aghast.
- ghastˈli·ness noun
- ghastˈly adverb