ghastly


ghastly
ghastly, grisly, gruesome, macabre, grim, lurid are comparable when they mean horrifying and repellent in appearance or aspect.
Ghastly suggests the terrifying aspects of death or bloodshed
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the dying man's ghastly pallor

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death grinned horrible a ghastly smile— Milton

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the image of a hideous —of a ghastly thing —of the gallows!— Poe

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The term also is used as a strong intensive equivalent to hideous or horrifying
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the growing conviction that the defeat was the result of a ghastly and unnecessary blunder}}

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detail is heaped upon ghastly detail with a kind of stolid objectivity until the cumulative picture is one of madness and chaos— Edmund Fuller

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Grisly and gruesome imply an appearance that inspires shuddering or uncanny horror
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so spake the grisly Terror— Milton

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look down, and see a grisly sight; a vault where the bodies are buried upright!— Wordsworth

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the thick 566-page text is literally horrible. It is filled with gruesome details of murder and torture— Bliven b. 1916

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many readers find Keats's Isabella too gruesome for enjoyment

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Ma-cabre may imply marked or excessive preoccupation with the horrors especially of death
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a macabre tale

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weirdly masked, macabre figures that in time became . . . the hallmark of his painting— Coates

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or it may come close to ghastly in its implication of a hideous or horrifying quality
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in a macabre climax, a substantial portion of Berlin was blown up by the Germans themselves— Wechsberg

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Grim suggests a fierce and forbidding aspect
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so should a murderer look, so dead, so grimShak.

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with countenance grim glared on him passing— Milton

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an unused, airless attic, a place the reader soon begins to think of as no less grim than a chamber of horrors— Stern

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the grim hows and not the difficult whys of battle— McCarten

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Lurid comes into comparison with ghastly as referring to light or color; it suggests either a ghastly pallor or coloring reminiscent of death
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death . . . pale as yonder wan and horned moon, with lips of lurid blue— Shelley

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or more frequently a sinister and murky glow
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he caught the color of what was passing about him but mixed with the lurid and portentous hue— Hawthorne

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no lurid fire of hell or human passion illumines their scenes— Eliot

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Sometimes lurid differs little from gruesome except, possibly, in its stronger suggestion of sensationalism
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reporters who like to give all the lurid details of a catastrophe

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the detective story may be described as lurid rather than as mysterious

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Analogous words: deathly, *deadly: frightful, horrible, horrific, dreadful, *fearful, appalling: repellent, *repugnant: repulsive, revolting, loathsome, *offensive

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Ghastly — Ghast ly, a. [Compar. {Ghastlier}; superl. {Ghastliest}.] [OE. gastlich, gastli, fearful, causing fear, fr. gasten to terrify, AS. g[ae]stan. Cf. {Aghast}, {Gast}, {Gaze}, {Ghostly}.] 1. Like a ghost in appearance; deathlike; pale; pallid; dismal …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Ghastly — Ghast ly, adv. In a ghastly manner; hideously. [1913 Webster] Staring full ghastly like a strangled man. Shak. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • ghastly — index deplorable, heinous, loathsome, lurid, repulsive Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • ghastly — (adj.) c.1300, gastlich, from gast (adj.), pp. of gasten to frighten, from O.E. gæstan to torment, frighten (see GHOST (Cf. ghost)) + lich ly. Spelling with gh developed 16c. from confusion with ghost. As an adverb, from 1580s. Related:… …   Etymology dictionary

  • ghastly — [adj] horrifying, dreadful; pale abhorrent, anemic, appalling, ashen, awful, bloodless, cadaverous, corpselike, deathlike, dim, disgusting, faint, frightening, frightful, funereal, ghostly, ghoulish, grim, grisly, gruesome, haggard, hideous,… …   New thesaurus

  • ghastly — ► ADJECTIVE (ghastlier, ghastliest) 1) causing great horror or fear. 2) deathly white or pallid. 3) informal very unpleasant. DERIVATIVES ghastliness noun. ORIGIN from obsolete gast terr …   English terms dictionary

  • ghastly — [gast′lē, gäst′lē] adj. ghastlier, ghastliest [ME gastli < gast, frightened, pp. of gasten, to frighten < OE gæstan < gæst, var. of gast (see GHOST): meaning infl. in ME by gostlich, GHOSTLY] 1. horrible; frightful 2. ghostlike; pale;… …   English World dictionary

  • ghastly — [[t]gɑ͟ːstli, gæ̱stli[/t]] 1) ADJ GRADED If you describe someone or something as ghastly, you mean that you dislike them a lot. [INFORMAL] ...a mother accompanied by her ghastly unruly child. ...a ghastly pair of white shoes... This wallpaper is… …   English dictionary

  • ghastly — adjective (ghastlier; est) Etymology: Middle English gastly, from gasten to terrify more at gast Date: 14th century 1. a. terrifyingly horrible to the senses ; frightening < a ghastly crime > b. intensely unpleasant, disagreeable, or… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • ghastly — adjective 1 a ghastly situation, person, experience etc is one that you do not like or enjoy at all: What ghastly weather! | I hope they don t bring their ghastly children with them. | It was absolutely ghastly. 2 making you very frightened,… …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English


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