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ghost (or skeleton) at the feast

Definition of ghost or skeleton at the feast in English:

A person or thing that brings gloom to an otherwise pleasant occasion.
Example sentences
  • The party has become used to such phantom presences: for the past four years, its former idol appeared like the proverbial ghost at the feast to deliver his speech, take the plaudits, yet shun the centre stage.
  • It is also the ghost at the feast of much polite society in Northern Ireland.
  • But his eyes were drawn nevertheless to the filthy bundle of rags, the skeleton at the feast.
See parent entry: feast

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Word of the day terpsichorean
Pronunciation: ˌtəːpsɪkəˈriːən
adjective
relating to dancing