From Middle English gostly, gastlich, from Old English gāstlīċ (“spiritual, holy, clerical (not lay), ghastly, ghostly, spectral”), equivalent to ghost + -ly. Cognate with Scots gostly, gastly, gaistlie (“spiritual, ghastly, terrifying”), West Frisian geastlik (“spiritual, clerical, religious”), Dutch geestelijk (“spiritual, clerical, ecclesiastical”), German geistlich (“spiritual, sacred, religious”), Danish geistlig (“ecclesiastical, clerical”).
- Of or pertaining to ghosts or spirits.
- a ghostly figure with a hood
- The graveyard was haunted by a ghostly figure of a young girl.
- The ghostly moaning was heard from upstairs.
- Spooky; frightening.
- A ghostly hush fell.
- Relating to the soul; not carnal or secular; spiritual.
- a ghostly confessor
- Book of Common Prayer
- Save and defend us from our ghostly enemies.
- Jeremy Taylor
- one of the ghostly children of St. Jerome
- See also Thesaurus:ghostly