Definition of spectre in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈspɛktə/
(US specter)


1A ghost: a dread of spectres and witches affected every aspect of daily life
More example sentences
  • Only when memory is, like the narrator's in Kesey's novel, sufficiently dim, do the dead appear as specters and ghosts.
  • He believes the spectre is the ghost of Pte Crowley, of the 11th North Devonshire Regiment.
  • In curing speech of specters and ghosts, analytical philosophy claims to cleanse the mind of a dreamy fondness for every sort of idealism, vitalism, Platonism, and transcendentalism.
ghost, phantom, apparition, spirit, wraith, shadow, presence, illusion;
Scottish & Irish  bodach;
German doppelgänger;
West Indian  duppy
informal spook
literary phantasm, shade, revenant, wight
rare eidolon, manes
1.1Something widely feared as a possible unpleasant or dangerous occurrence: the spectre of nuclear holocaust
More example sentences
  • Lately she's been thinking a lot about selling her home to break free from debt, because she fears the specter of foreclosure every day.
  • Our world has changed; we must adjust our living habits as necessary to address the increased danger that the specter of terrorism brings.
  • It also raises the specter of a dangerous shift toward protectionism.
threat, menace, shadow, cloud, vision;
danger, peril, fear, dread


Early 17th century: from French spectre or Latin spectrum (see spectrum).

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