adj 1: shockingly repellent; inspiring horror; "ghastly wounds"; "the grim aftermath of the bombing"; "the grim task of burying the victims"; "a grisly murder"; "gruesome evidence of human sacrifice"; "macabre tales of war and plague in the Middle ages"; "macabre tortures conceived by madmen" [syn: ghastly, grim, grisly, gruesome, macabre, sick] 2: gruesomely indicative of death or the dead; "a charnel smell came from the chest filled with dead men's bones"; "ghastly shrieks"; "the sepulchral darkness of the catacombs" [syn: charnel, ghastly, sepulchral]
adjective (ghastlier; -est) Etymology: Middle English gastly, from gasten to terrify — more at gastDate: 14th century 1.a. terrifyingly horrible to the senses ; frightening <a ghastly crime> b. intensely unpleasant, disagreeable, or objectionable <such a life seems ghastly in its emptiness and sterility — Aldous Huxley> 2. resembling a ghost 3.obsolete filled with fear 4. very great <a ghastly mistake> • ghastlinessnoun • ghastlyadverb Synonyms:ghastly, grisly, gruesome, macabre, lurid mean horrifying and repellent in appearance or aspect. ghastly suggests the terrifying aspects of corpses and ghosts <a ghastly accident>. grisly and gruesome suggest additionally the results of extreme violence or cruelty <an unusually grisly murder> <suffered a gruesome death>. macabre implies a morbid preoccupation with the physical aspects of death <a macabre tale of premature burial>. lurid adds to gruesome the suggestion of shuddering fascination with violent death and especially with murder <the lurid details of a crime>.
adj. & adv. --adj. (ghastlier, ghastliest) 1 horrible, frightful. 2 colloq. objectionable, unpleasant. 3 deathlike, pallid. --adv. in a ghastly or sickly way (ghastly pale). Derivatives: ghastlily adv. ghastliness n. Etymology: ME gastlich f. obs. gast terrify: gh after ghost
Ghastly Ghast"ly, a. [Compar. Ghastlier; superl. Ghastliest.] [OE. gastlich, gastli, fearful, causing fear, fr. gasten to terrify, AS. g[ae]stan. Cf. Aghast, Gast, Gaze, Ghostly.] 1. Like a ghost in appearance; deathlike; pale; pallid; dismal. Each turned his face with a ghastly pang. --Coleridge. His face was so ghastly that it could scarcely be recognized. --Macaulay. 2. Horrible; shocking; dreadful; hideous. Mangled with ghastly wounds through plate and mail. --Milton.
If you describe someone or something as ghastly, you mean that you find them very unpleasant. (INFORMAL) ...a mother accompanied by her ghastly unruly child...It was the worst week of my life. It was ghastly.= awful ADJ