Definition of spook in English:

spook

Syllabification: spook
Pronunciation: /spo͞ok
 
/
informal

noun

  • 1A ghost.
    More 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.
  • 3 offensive , • dated , chiefly US A contemptuous term for 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.

More definitions of spook

Definition of spook in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day astrogation
Pronunciation: ˌastrəˈgāSHən
noun
(in science fiction) navigation in outer space