aghast


aghast
\ \ [13] Aghast was originally the past participle of a verb, agastenfrighten’, which in turn was based on the Old English verb gǣstantorment’. The spelling with gh did not finally become established until the 18th century, and in fact aghast was the last in a series of etymologically related words in the general semantic area of ‘fear’ and ‘horror’ to undergo this transformation. It seems to have acquired its gh by association with ghastly, which in turn got it from ghost (probably under the ultimate influence of Flemish gheest).

Word origins - 2ed. . 2005.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Aghast — A*ghast , a. & p. p. [OE. agast, agasted, p. p. of agasten to terrify, fr. AS. pref. [=a] (cf. Goth. us , G. er , orig. meaning out) + g?stan to terrify, torment: cf. Goth. usgaisjan to terrify, primitively to fix, to root to the spot with… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Aghast — A*ghast , v. t. See {Agast}, v. t. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Aghast — Allgemeine Informationen Genre(s) Dark Ambient Gründungsmitglieder Instrumente, Gesang …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • aghast — index speechless Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • aghast — (adj.) c.1300, agast, terrified, pp. of M.E. agasten to frighten (c.1200), from a intensive prefix + O.E. gæstan to terrify, from gæst spirit, ghost (see GHOST (Cf. ghost)). The gh spelling appeared early 15c. in Scottish and is possibly a… …   Etymology dictionary

  • aghast — [adj] horrified; very surprised afraid, agape, agog, alarmed, amazed, anxious, appalled, astonished, astounded, awestruck, confounded, dismayed, dumbfounded, frightened, horror struck, overwhelmed, shocked, startled, stunned, terrified,… …   New thesaurus

  • aghast — ► ADJECTIVE ▪ filled with horror or shock. ORIGIN from obsolete gast frighten ; spelling probably influenced by GHOST(Cf. ↑ghost) (compare with GHASTLY(Cf. ↑ghastly)) …   English terms dictionary

  • aghast — [ə gast′, əgäst′] adj. [ME agast, pp. of agasten, to terrify < a , intens. + gasten < OE gaestan, to terrify < gast, GHOST] feeling great horror or dismay; terrified; horrified …   English World dictionary

  • aghast — adj. aghast at (aghast at the very thought of going back to work) * * * [ə gɑːst] aghast at (aghast at the very thought of going back to work) …   Combinatory dictionary

  • aghast — a|ghast [əˈga:st US əˈgæst] adj [not before noun] written [Date: 1200 1300; Origin: From the past participle of aghast to frighten (13 16 centuries), from gast to frighten (11 17 centuries), from Old English gAstan] feeling or looking shocked by… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • aghast — [[t]əgɑ͟ːst, əgæ̱st[/t]] ADJ GRADED: ADJ after v, v link ADJ, oft ADJ at n, ADJ n If you are aghast, you are filled with horror and surprise. [FORMAL] While she watched, aghast, his eyes glazed over as his life flowed away... His colleagues were… …   English dictionary


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.