- 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.
The definition of ghastly is something repellent, horrible, frightful, ugly, macabre or sickly.
- horrible; frightful
- ghostlike; pale; haggard
- Informal very bad or unpleasant
Origin of ghastlyMiddle 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
- Causing shock, revulsion, or horror; terrifying: a ghastly murder.
- Resembling a ghost; pale or pallid.
- Extremely unpleasant or bad: “in the most abominable passage of his ghastly little book” ( Conor Cruise O'Brien )
Origin of ghastlyAlteration (influenced by ghost ) of Middle English gastli from gasten to terrify ; see aghast .
ghastly grim gruesome grisly macabre lurid
These adjectives describe what is shockingly repellent in aspect or appearance. Ghastly applies to what inspires shock or horror because it suggests death: ghastly wounds. Grim refers to what repels because of its stern or fierce aspect or its harsh, relentless nature: the grim task of burying the victims of the earthquake. Gruesome and grisly describe what horrifies or revolts because of its appalling crudity or utter inhumanity: a gruesome murder; grisly jokes about cadavers. Macabre suggests the horror of death and decay: macabre stories about a madman. Lurid sometimes refers to an unnatural hue suggestive of death: The ill patient's skin took on a lurid pallor. More often, the term describes what shocks because of its terrible and ghastly nature: lurid crimes. At other times, it merely refers to glaring and usually unsavory sensationalism: a lurid account of the accident.
(comparative ghastlier, superlative ghastliest)
- In a ghastly manner.
- He turned ghastly pale on hearing the news.