The verb to haunt means to appear as a ghost or some kind of supernatural phenomenon. Ebenezer Scrooge was haunted by the Ghosts of Christmases Past, Present and Future.

The first recorded usage of the word haunt is in William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, a play filled with supernatural characters running around scaring the knickers off each other. As Shakespeare knew, haunting is at its most effective in the passive voice, because there is much more drama in being haunted than haunting. Another use of the word haunt is as a noun, and it means "a place that is frequented often," like a popular hangout. The gym, a bar, a corner: these are all potential haunts. The dentist, the principal’s office, a busy intersection: these are not.

Definitions of haunt
  1. verb
    follow stealthily or recur constantly and spontaneously to
    “the ghost of her mother haunted her”
    synonyms: stalk
    see moresee less
    type of:
    follow, pursue
    follow in or as if in pursuit
  2. verb
    be a regular or frequent visitor to a certain place
    “She haunts the ballet”
    synonyms: frequent
    see moresee less
    hang out
    spend time in a certain location or with certain people
    type of:
    travel to, visit
    go to certain places as for sightseeing
  3. verb
    haunt like a ghost; pursue
    “Fear of illness haunts her”
    synonyms: ghost, obsess
    see moresee less
    type of:
    engage or engross the interest or attention of beforehand or occupy urgently or obsessively
  4. noun
    a frequently visited place
    synonyms: hangout, repair, resort, stamping ground
    see moresee less
    gathering place
    a favorite haunt where people gather
    type of:
    area, country
    a particular geographical region of indefinite boundary (usually serving some special purpose or distinguished by its people or culture or geography)
Word Family

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by Vocabulary.com’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 700+
  • Duration: 10 weeks
  • Time: 1 hour / week