When something is spectral, it has a ghostlike quality; it seems to vanish or disappear. You may have heard of ghosts referred to as "specters": that means that they're spectral.

You may recognize the spect part of the adjective spectral from words like "spectacle," "spectrum," and "spectacular." All of these words share a similar meaning, which comes from the Latin verb specere, "look at, view." When something is spectral, think of it as something ghostly, something you can see but not touch — though it won't always mean that literally. For example, after a long illness, someone might have a spectral appearance.

Definitions of spectral
  1. adjective
    resembling or characteristic of a phantom
    spectral emanations”
    synonyms: apparitional, ghostlike, ghostly, phantasmal, spiritual
    not existing in nature or subject to explanation according to natural laws; not physical or material
  2. adjective
    of or relating to a spectrum
    spectral colors”
    spectral analysis”
Word Family

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