spook

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See also: Spook

English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Borrowed from Dutch spook (ghost), from Middle Dutch spooc (spook, ghost).

Pronunciation[edit]

  • enPR: spo͞ok, IPA(key): /spuːk/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -uːk

Noun[edit]

spook (plural spooks)

  1. (informal) A ghost or phantom.
    The building was haunted by a couple of spooks.
    • 1926, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Land of Mist[1]:
      "I'll say what I think, no more and no less, and I won't be scared by you or your spooks into altering my opinions."
  2. A hobgoblin.
  3. (informal) A scare or fright.
    The big spider gave me a spook.
  4. (espionage, slang) A spy.
    • 2009, "Spies like them", BBC News Magazine (online), 24 July 2009:
      From Ian Fleming to John Le Carre - authors have long been fascinated by the world of espionage. But, asks the BBC’s Gordon Corera, what do real life spooks make of fictional spies?
    • 2012, The Economist, Oct 13th 2012, Huawei and ZTE: Put on hold
      The congressional study frets that Huawei’s and ZTE’s products could be used as Trojan horses by Chinese spooks.
  5. (slang, dated, derogatory, ethnic slur) A black person.
  6. (philosophy) A metaphysical manifestation; an artificial distinction or construct.
    He who is infatuated with Man leaves persons out of account so far as that infatuation extends, and floats in an ideal, sacred interest. Man, you see, is not a person, but an ideal, a spook.Max Stirner
  7. (US, slang, medicine) A psychiatrist.
    • 1975, Robert O. Pasnau, Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry (page 124)
      Commonly, the surgeons view nonsurgeons with disdain. The most disdain is directed toward the “shrinks” or the “spooks,” as the psychiatrists are called.
  8. (blackjack, slang) A player who engages in hole carding by attempting to glimpse the dealer's hole card when the dealer checks under an ace or a 10 to see if a blackjack is present.

Synonyms[edit]

Translations[edit]

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Verb[edit]

spook (third-person singular simple present spooks, present participle spooking, simple past and past participle spooked)

  1. (transitive) To frighten or make nervous (especially by startling).
    The hunters were spooked when the black cat crossed their path. The movement in the bushes spooked the deer and they ran.
  2. (intransitive) To become frightened (by something startling).
    The deer spooked at the sound of the dogs.
  3. (transitive) To haunt.

Translations[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

See also[edit]

Anagrams[edit]


Afrikaans[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Dutch spook, from Middle Dutch spoke, spooc, from Proto-Germanic *spōk.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

spook (plural spoke, diminutive spokie)

  1. ghost, phantom

Descendants[edit]

  • Northern Ndebele: isipoko
  • Xhosa: isiporho
  • Zulu: isipoki

Dutch[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle Dutch spoke, spooc, from spoke, spoocke, spoicke (wizardry, witchcraft), from Proto-Germanic *spōk. Further etymology unclear. Compare Middle Low German spôk; Low German spôk; Middle High German Spuch; modern High German Spuk.

Noun[edit]

Een spook zoals dat vaak in een kinderboek getekend wordt.
A ghost such as is often drawn in a children's book.

spook n (plural spoken, diminutive spookje n)

  1. phantom, ghost
    Geloof je in spoken?Do you believe in ghosts?
  2. horror, terror
    het spook van de oorlogthe horror of war
  3. an annoying and intolerable woman
Synonyms[edit]
Derived terms[edit]
Descendants[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

See the etymology of the main entry.

Verb[edit]

spook

  1. first-person singular present indicative of spoken
  2. imperative of spoken

Middle English[edit]

Noun[edit]

spook

  1. Alternative form of spoke