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Phantom vs. Ghost: What's the Difference?

Phantom and Ghost Definitions

Phantom

Something apparently seen, heard, or sensed, but having no physical reality; a ghost or apparition.

Ghost

The spirit of a dead person, especially one that is believed to appear to the living in bodily form or to haunt specific locations.

Phantom

An image that appears only in the mind; an illusion
Phantoms of a disturbed mind.

Ghost

A person's spirit or soul
Was sick for months and finally gave up the ghost.

Phantom

(Medicine) A model of a human body or body part.
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Ghost

A returning or haunting memory or image.

Phantom

Resembling, characteristic of, or being a phantom
Tales of a phantom ship haunting the bay.

Ghost

A slight or faint trace
Just a ghost of a smile.

Phantom

Fictitious or nonexistent, often when intended to deceive
Phantom employees on the payroll.
Deposits in a phantom bank account.

Ghost

The tiniest bit
Not a ghost of a chance.
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Phantom

Believed to be real even though illusory
A phantom pregnancy.

Ghost

An unwanted image on a television or radar screen caused by reflected waves.

Phantom

Being a phantom limb
A phantom arm.

Ghost

A displaced image in a photograph caused by the optical system of the camera.

Phantom

A ghost or apparition.

Ghost

An unwanted spectral line caused by imperfections in a diffraction grating.

Phantom

Something apparently seen, heard, or sensed, but having no physical reality; an image that appears only in the mind; an illusion or delusion.

Ghost

A displaced image in a mirror caused by reflection from the front of the glass.

Phantom

(bridge) A placeholder for a pair of players when there are an odd number of pairs playing.

Ghost

(Informal) A ghostwriter.

Phantom

(medical imaging) A test object. A test phantom is an object that reproduces the characteristics of human tissue.

Ghost

A nonexistent publication listed in bibliographies.

Phantom

Illusive.

Ghost

A fictitious employee or business.

Phantom

Fictitious or nonexistent.
A phantom limb

Ghost

(Physiology) A red blood cell having no hemoglobin.

Phantom

That which has only an apparent existence; an apparition; a specter; a phantasm; a sprite; an airy spirit; an ideal image.
Strange phantoms rising as the mists arise.
She was a phantom of delight.

Ghost

(Informal) To engage in ghostwriting.

Phantom

Being, or of the nature of, a phantom.
Phantom isles are floating in the skies.

Ghost

To move noiselessly like a ghost
“Two young deer ghosted out of the woods” (Nancy M. Debevoise).

Phantom

A ghostly appearing figure;
We were unprepared for the apparition that confronted us

Ghost

(Informal) To cut off all communication with someone, especially a romantic or sexual partner, without providing an explanation
Ghosted on him after two dates.

Phantom

Something existing in perception only;
A ghostly apparition at midnight

Ghost

To haunt.

Phantom

Something apparently sensed but having no physical reality;
Seemed to hear faint phantom bells
The amputee's illusion of a phantom limb

Ghost

(Informal) To ghostwrite
Was hired to ghost the memoirs of a famous executive.

Ghost

(Informal) To cut off all communication with (someone), especially a romantic or sexual partner, without providing an explanation
“In some point in nearly every young millennial's life, they will be ghosted. And not by sad dead bodies from the graveyard, but by idiot living ones from the Internet” (Heather Dockray).

Ghost

The spirit; the human soul.

Ghost

The disembodied soul; the soul or spirit of a deceased person; a spirit appearing after death.
Everyone believed that the ghost of an old lady haunted the crypt.

Ghost

Any faint shadowy semblance; an unsubstantial image.
Not a ghost of a chance
The ghost of an idea

Ghost

A false image formed in a telescope, camera, or other optical device by reflection from the surfaces of one or more lenses.

Ghost

An unwanted image similar to and overlapping or adjacent to the main one on a television screen, caused by the transmitted image being received both directly and via reflection.

Ghost

A ghostwriter.

Ghost

A nonexistent person invented to obtain some fraudulent benefit.

Ghost

A dead person whose identity is stolen by another. See ghosting.

Ghost

(Internet) An unresponsive user on IRC, resulting from the user's client disconnecting without notifying the server.

Ghost

(computing) An image of a file or hard disk.

Ghost

(theatre) An understudy.

Ghost

(espionage) A covert (and deniable) agent.

Ghost

The faint image that remains after an attempt to remove graffiti.

Ghost

(video games) An opponent in a racing game that follows a previously recorded route, allowing players to compete against previous best times.

Ghost

Someone whose identity cannot be established because there are no records of him/her.

Ghost

(quantum physics) An unphysical state in a gauge theory.

Ghost

A formerly nonexistent character that was at some point mistakenly encoded into a character set standard, which might have since become used opportunistically for some genuine purpose.

Ghost

(countable) ghost pepper

Ghost

(uncountable) A game in which players take turns to add a letter to a possible word, trying not to complete a word.

Ghost

White or pale.
Ghost slug

Ghost

Transparent or translucent.
Ghost ant
Ghost catfish

Ghost

(attributive) Abandoned.
Ghost town
Ghost ship

Ghost

(attributive) Remnant; the remains of a(n).
Ghost cell
Ghost crater
Ghost image

Ghost

(attributive) Perceived or listed but not real.
Ghost cellphone vibration
Ghost pain
Ghost island
Ghost voter

Ghost

(attributive) Of cryptid, supernatural or extraterrestrial nature.
Ghost rocket
Ghost deer

Ghost

(attributive) Substitute.
Ghost writer
Ghost singer

Ghost

To haunt; to appear to in the form of an apparition.

Ghost

(obsolete) To die; to expire.

Ghost

(literary) To imbue with a ghost-like hue or effect.

Ghost

(ambitransitive) To ghostwrite.

Ghost

(nautical) To sail seemingly without wind.

Ghost

(computing) To copy a file or hard drive image.

Ghost

(GUI) To gray out (a visual item) to indicate that it is unavailable.

Ghost

To forcibly disconnect an IRC user who is using one's reserved nickname.

Ghost

(intransitive) To appear or move without warning, quickly and quietly; to slip.

Ghost

(transitive) To transfer (a prisoner) to another prison without the prior knowledge of other inmates.

Ghost

(slang) To kill.

Ghost

To perform an act of ghosting: to break up with someone without warning or explanation; to ignore someone, especially on social media.

Ghost

(film) To provide the speaking or singing voice for another actor, who is lip-syncing.

Ghost

The spirit; the soul of man.
Then gives her grieved ghost thus to lament.

Ghost

The disembodied soul; the soul or spirit of a deceased person; a spirit appearing after death; an apparition; a specter.
The mighty ghosts of our great Harrys rose.
I thought that I had died in sleep,And was a blessed ghost.

Ghost

Any faint shadowy semblance; an unsubstantial image; a phantom; a glimmering; as, not a ghost of a chance; the ghost of an idea.
Each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.

Ghost

A false image formed in a telescope by reflection from the surfaces of one or more lenses.
And he gave up the ghost full softly.
Jacob . . . yielded up the ghost, and was gathered unto his people

Ghost

To die; to expire.

Ghost

To appear to or haunt in the form of an apparition.

Ghost

A mental representation of some haunting experience;
He looked like he had seen a ghost
It aroused specters from his past

Ghost

A writer who gives the credit of authorship to someone else

Ghost

The visible disembodied soul of a dead person

Ghost

A suggestion of some quality;
There was a touch of sarcasm in his tone
He detected a ghost of a smile on her face

Ghost

Move like a ghost;
The masked men ghosted across the moonlit yard

Ghost

Haunt like a ghost; pursue;
Fear of illness haunts her

Ghost

Write for someone else;
How many books have you ghostwritten so far?

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