Share this entry

Share this page

spook

Line breaks: spook
Pronunciation: /spuːk
 
/
informal

Definition of spook in English:

noun

1A ghost.
Example sentences
  • Judge Steve Evans takes on these unspooky spooks and non-existent ghosts - and he doesn't mind one bit.
  • In their flower-powered custom van, the Mystery Machine, this teenage detective agency prowls the countryside in search of suspicious spooks and phony phantoms.
  • The Ghosts Of Pac-Man asks a number of searching questions about the blamanche-like spooks in the early eighties video arcade game.
2chiefly North American A spy: a CIA spook
More example sentences
  • Burke hooks Clayton in by suggesting that his father, who died under mysterious circumstances 10 years earlier, may actually have been a CIA spook as well.
  • ‘Nobody ever heard of paying spooks until we began the practice,’ said ancient Abraham, cackling wheezily.
  • The recent string of intelligence failures has provoked calls for creating a Director of National Intelligence who would have broad oversight over all spooks.
3US offensive , dated A black person.

verb

[with object] Back to top  
1Frighten; unnerve: they spooked a couple of grizzly bears
More example sentences
  • Today business buyers are spooked by luxury deals, since it's tough to predict how far this downturn will go.
  • Her cell phone goes off and spooks Stevie's steed.
  • Though not particularly large, they were barking wildly and getting under their hooves with enthusiasm, spooking all the horses.
1.1 [no object] (Especially of an animal) take fright suddenly: he’ll spook if we make any noise
More example sentences
  • A minute later, her horse spooked and Kaz spooked along with her.
  • Perhaps at an even slower pace, with more stunning images and settings, this movie would really spook.

Origin

early 19th century: from Dutch, of unknown origin.

Definition of spook in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day cumbersome
Pronunciation: ˈkʌmbəs(ə)m
adjective
large or heavy and therefore difficult to carry…