ghastly vs macabre what difference

what is difference between ghastly and macabre

English

Etymology

From a conflation of a derivation of Old English gǣstan (to torment, frighten) with the suffix -lic, and ghostly (which was also spelt “gastlich” in Middle English). Equivalent to ghast/gast + -ly. Spelling with ‘gh’ developed 16th century due to the conflation.

Pronunciation

  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈɡɑːs(t).li/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈɡæs(t).li/

Adjective

ghastly (comparative ghastlier, superlative ghastliest)

  1. Like a ghost in appearance; death-like; pale; pallid; dismal.
    • 1798, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
      Each turned his face with a ghastly pang.
  2. Horrifyingly shocking.
  3. Extremely bad.

Synonyms

  • (sickly pale): See also Thesaurus:pallid
  • (horrifyingly shocking): lurid

Translations

Adverb

ghastly (not comparable)

  1. In a ghastly manner.
    • 1921, William Dudley Pelley, The Fog: A Novel, page 196:
      Johnathan’s lips moved ghastly before his voice would come. “So I’m crazy, am I? And if I choose to murder you, what would you do?”


English

Etymology

Borrowed from French macabre, whose etymology is uncertain, but possibly derives from the term danse macabre – the attribute of which was construed as an adjective – most commonly believed to be from corruption of the biblical name Maccabees; compare Latin Chorea Machabaeorum.

Another theory derives the term from Spanish macabro, from Arabic مَقَابِر(maqābir, cemeteries), plural of مَقْبَرَة(maqbara) or مَقْبُرَة(maqbura). Borrowing Arabic in plural form is not unusual: a similar case is the word magazine, derived from the plural مخازن maxāzin of the Arabic singular noun مخزن maxzan “storehouse/depot/shop”.

Pronunciation

  • (UK) IPA(key): /məˈkɑːbɹə/, /məˈkɑːbə(ɹ)/
  • (US) IPA(key): /məˈkɑb/, /məˈkɑbɹə/, /məˈkɑbɚ/
  • Homophone: McCobb

Adjective

macabre (comparative more macabre, superlative most macabre)

  1. Representing or personifying death.
    • 1941, George C. Booth, Mexico’s School-made Society, page 106
      There are four fundamental figures. One is a man measuring and comparing his world [] In front of him is a macabre figure, a cadaver ready to be dissected. This symbolizes man serving mankind. The third figure is the scientist, the man who makes use of the information gathered in the first two fields of mensurable science.
  2. Obsessed with death or the gruesome.
    • 1993, Theodore Ziolkowski, “Wagner’s Parsifal between Mystery and Mummery”, in Werner Sollors (ed.), The Return of Thematic Criticism, pages 274-275
      Indeed, in the 1854 draft of Tristan he planned to have Parzival visit the dying knight, and both operas display the same macabre obsession with bloody gore and festering wounds.
  3. Ghastly, shocking, terrifying.
    • 1927 [1938], H. P. Lovecraft, Supernatural Horror in Literature, Introduction
      The appeal of the spectrally macabre is generally narrow because it demands from the reader a certain degree of imagination and a capacity for detachment from every-day life.
    Synonyms: ghastly, horrifying, shocking, terrifying

Derived terms

  • danse macabre

Translations

See also

  • Danse Macabre on Wikipedia.Wikipedia

References

Anagrams

  • carbeam

Catalan

Etymology

From French macabre

Adjective

macabre (feminine macabra, masculine and feminine plural macabres)

  1. macabre

French

Etymology

From Danse Macabre (dance of death), from Old French, usually said to be from Macabé (Maccabee), in reference to a mystery play depicting their slaughter. See Maccabee.

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /ma.kabʁ/

Adjective

macabre (plural macabres)

  1. macabre

Synonyms

  • lugubre

Derived terms

  • danse macabre

Further reading

  • “macabre” in Trésor de la langue française informatisé (The Digitized Treasury of the French Language).

References


Italian

Adjective

macabre

  1. feminine plural of macabro

Romanian

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): [maˈka.bre]

Adjective

macabre

  1. nominative feminine plural of macabru
  2. accusative feminine plural of macabru
  3. nominative neuter plural of macabru
  4. accusative neuter plural of macabru

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