Adjective "ghastly" definition and examples



Definitions and examples


Causing great horror or fear.
  1. 'It was not just the ghastly silence that inspired fear.'
  2. 'India has had plenty of ghastly crimes, but this was arguably the worst of the lot.'
  3. 'But they vowed: ‘We will not rest until the monster responsible for this ghastly crime is brought to justice and is behind bars.’'
  4. 'The more spectacular and ghastly the terrorist deed, the greater the concentration of minds.'
  5. 'When perpetrators of ghastly crimes are tried, we almost always hear the victims' families' calls for vengeance.'
  6. 'It was a ghastly sight, indeed hardly ever paralleled.'
  7. 'Matching the words of the song to the images, we begin to ponder a possible explanation - from a ‘crime passionelle’ to a ghastly workplace accident, or even a bizarre suicide.'
  8. 'Much of what we see is ghastly and all too real; terrible anguish and sorrow.'
  9. 'Thus, even the book's most ghastly events are stripped of their horror, and so of their dramatic power as well.'
  10. 'But as a film it takes us inside a country in ghastly strife and serves to remind us that the horrors outside what's presented in the film were a thousand times worse than what we see.'
Extremely unwell.
  1. 'a ghastly pallor'
  2. 'If her face was pale before, it was nothing compared to the ghastly appearance at the moment.'
  3. 'His eyes were a bright red, and his skin was ghastly pale.'
  4. 'After he left her go, her face turned a ghastly color - nearly white.'
  5. 'His black hair was drawn up in thick spikes, and he had a sallow face which was a ghastly white.'
  6. 'Her mother's eyes widened when she read the signature, and her face turned a ghastly shade of white.'
  7. 'There was no mistaking those ghastly eyes and pale white skin.'
  8. 'Her right arm came up, and pushed a hidden button on her forehead, and the helmet disappeared, replaced by a ghastly pale white head with green hair falling down her shoulders.'
  9. 'From her ghastly pale face, Tom can tell that she was not healthy at all.'
  10. 'Her lips were shrivelled and pale, her skin a ghastly white.'
  11. 'Her face was pale and ghastly, her eyes leaking tears faster and faster.'
Very objectionable, bad, or unpleasant.
  1. 'Coupled with a sincere belief in her innate cooking sense, this lack resulted in some spectacularly ghastly meals.'
  2. 'Rose expected the smell to be ghastly and terrible, but it wasn't.'
  3. 'Such moments are unpleasant but are not as ghastly as having to do it deliberately.'
  4. 'The way Mrs. Keates was carrying on about her hair and her dress and her ghastly perfume, you would think she was being presented to the King himself rather than just going to supper.'
  5. 'He is fixed on this ghastly image, this odd aesthetic object.'
  6. 'Oh dear; why on earth did they pick such a ghastly canary yellow colour?'
  7. 'The prospect of the team splitting up and going their separate ways is too ghastly to contemplate.'
  8. 'She is confined to her bed with ghastly old-fashioned furniture and state-supermarket fare.'
  9. 'A ghastly terrible obscene waste of human life.'
  10. 'When I started to take photographs they were all ghastly, except by accident.'


1. shockingly frightful or dreadful; horrible: a ghastly murder.

2. resembling a ghost, especially in being very pale: a ghastly look to his face.

3. terrible; very bad: a ghastly error. adverb

4. Also, ghastlily, ghastily. in a ghastly manner; horribly; terribly.

5. with a deathlike quality.

More examples(as adjective)

"rates can be ghastly across markets."

"patients can be ghastly on gettings."

"faces can be ghastly under moons."

"consequences can be ghastly for parties."

"people can be ghastly."

More examples++


Middle English: from obsolete gast ‘terrify’, from Old English gǣstan, of Germanic origin; related to ghost. The gh spelling is by association with ghost. The sense ‘objectionable’ dates from the mid 19th century.