specter

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From French spectre, from Latin spectrum (appearance, apparition). Doublet of spectrum.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

specter (plural specters) (American spelling)

  1. A ghostly apparition, a phantom. [from 17th c.]
    A specter haunted the cemetery at the old Vasquez manor.
  2. (figuratively) A threatening mental image. [from 18th c.]
    • 1848, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, Samuel Moore (translator)The Communist Manifesto
      A specter is haunting Europe — the specter of communism. All the powers of old Europe have entered into a holy alliance to exorcise this specter: Pope and Tsar, Metternich and Guizot, French Radicals and German police-spies.
  3. (entomology) Any of certain species of dragonfly of the genus Boyeria, family Aeshnidae. [from 20th c.]

Synonyms[edit]

Related terms[edit]

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Latin[edit]

Verb[edit]

specter

  1. first-person singular present passive subjunctive of spectō