n. (US specter) 1 a ghost. 2 a haunting presentiment or preoccupation (the spectre of war). 3 (in comb.) used in the names of some animals because of their thinness, transparency, etc. (spectre-bat; spectre-crab). Phrases and idioms: Spectre of the Brocken a huge shadowy image of the observer projected on mists about a mountain-top (observed on the Brocken in Germany). Etymology: F spectre or L spectrum: see SPECTRUM
Specter Spec"ter, Spectre Spec"tre, n. [F. spectre, fr. L. spectrum an appearance, image, specter, fr. specere to look. See Spy, and cf. Spectrum.] 1. Something preternaturally visible; an apparition; a ghost; a phantom. The ghosts of traitors from the bridge descend, With bold fanatic specters to rejoice. --Dryden. 2. (Zo["o]l.) (a) The tarsius. (b) A stick insect. Specter bat (Zo["o]l.), any phyllostome bat. Specter candle (Zo["o]l.), a belemnite. Specter shrimp (Zo["o]l.), a skeleton shrimp. See under Skeleton.
(spectres)Note: in AM, use 'specter' 1. If you refer to the spectreof something unpleasant, you are referring to something that you are frightened might occur. Failure to arrive at a consensus over the issue raised the spectre of legal action...N-COUNT: usu the N of n 2. A spectre is a ghost. (LITERARY) N-COUNT