haunt[hônt, hänt; for n. 2, usually hant]
A ghosts haunts this castle.
- An example of to haunt is seeing visions of a relative who has passed every time you're in their bedroom.
- An example of to haunt is going to the same cafe for lunch every day.
- An example of to haunt is stalking someone.
- to visit (a place) often or continually; frequent
- to seek the company or companionship of; run after
- to appear or recur repeatedly to, often to the point of obsession: memories haunted her
- to be associated with; fill the atmosphere of; pervade: memories of former gaiety haunt the house
Origin of hauntMiddle English haunten ; from Old French hanter, to frequent ; from Germanic an unverified form haimetan (akin to Old English hamettan, to domicile) ; from an unverified form haim, home
- a place often visited: to make the library one's haunt
- a lair or feeding place of animals
- Dialectal a ghost
verbhaunt·ed, haunt·ing, haunts
- To inhabit, visit, or appear to in the form of a ghost or other supernatural being.
- To visit often; frequent: haunted the movie theaters.
- To come to the mind of continually; obsess: a riddle that haunted me all morning.
- To be continually present in; pervade: the melancholy that haunts the composer's music.
- A place much frequented.
- also hant or ha'nt or haint Chiefly Southern US A ghost or other supernatural being.
Origin of hauntMiddle English haunten, to frequent, from Old French hanter; see tkei- in Indo-European roots.
(third-person singular simple present haunts, present participle haunting, simple past and past participle haunted)
- To inhabit, or visit frequently (most often used in reference to ghosts).
- A couple of ghosts haunt the old, burnt-down house.
- To make uneasy, restless.
- The memory of his past failures haunted him.
- To stalk, to follow
- The policeman haunted him, following him everywhere.
- (intransitive, now rare) To live habitually; to stay, to remain.
- (UK dialectal, Northern England, Scotland) To accustom; habituate; make accustomed to.
- (UK dialectal, Northern England, Scotland) To practise; to devote oneself to.
- (intransitive) To persist in staying or visiting.
From Middle English haunten (“to reside, inhabit, use, employ”), from Old French hanter (“to inhabit, frequent, resort to”), of Germanic origin, probably through Gothic *[script?] (haimatjan, “to lead home”), from Proto-Germanic *haimatjaną (“to house, bring home”), from Proto-Germanic *haimaz (“village, home”), from Proto-Indo-European *kōim- (“village”). Cognate with Old English hāmettan (“to provide housing to, bring home”), Old Norse heimta (“to bring home, fetch”) (Swedish hämta); related to Old English hām (“home, village”), Old French hantin (“a stay, a place frequented by”) from the same Germanic source. More at home.