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apparition, reality, existence, being


ACT 9 (American College Testing), Artifice and Falseness, High School 6



How to pronounce phantom (audio)


Dictionary definition of phantom

An imaginary or illusory entity that appears to be real but lacks physical substance or existence.
"The legend spoke of a phantom ship that appeared only during the full moon."

Detailed meaning of phantom

It commonly refers to a ghostly or supernatural apparition that is believed to haunt or appear in a particular place. Phantoms are often associated with mystery, the supernatural, or the realm of the unreal. They can be perceived or experienced through various senses, such as sight, sound, or touch, even though they lack tangible form. Phantoms can also be metaphorical representations of something that is elusive, intangible, or fleeting. In literature and folklore, phantoms are frequently depicted as ethereal, shadowy figures that evoke fear, curiosity, or fascination. They often serve as symbols of the unknown, the subconscious, or unresolved aspects of the human psyche. The concept of phantoms blurs the line between reality and imagination, inviting contemplation on the nature of perception and the boundaries of the physical world.

Example sentences containing phantom

1. The old house was said to be haunted by a mischievous phantom.
2. Sarah felt a cold breeze pass through her, as if a phantom had brushed against her.
3. The detective pursued the phantom through the dark alleyways, trying to uncover its true identity.
4. John couldn't shake off the feeling that a phantom presence was watching him from the shadows.
5. The stage magician made a coin vanish, creating the illusion of a phantom disappearing into thin air.
6. The phantom footsteps echoed through the empty hallway, causing chills down Martha's spine.

History and etymology of phantom

The noun 'phantom' derives its etymology from the ancient Greek word 'phantasma,' which is rooted in the verb 'phaino,' meaning 'to appear' or 'to show.' In ancient Greek thought, particularly in the context of philosophy and metaphysics, 'phantasma' referred to mental images or apparitions, often taking the form of illusory entities that appeared real but lacked physical substance. These phantoms were considered products of perception and imagination. As the word passed through Latin and entered English, it retained its essential meaning, describing an imaginary or illusory entity that appears to be real but lacks physical existence. The etymology of 'phantom' thus underscores its historical connection to the concept of apparitions and the ethereal nature of things that exist only in the realm of perception and imagination.

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Further usage examples of phantom

1. The artist captured the ethereal beauty of the phantom in his haunting painting.
2. The ancient ruins were said to be inhabited by phantoms of the past, still roaming the grounds.
3. The sound of eerie laughter filled the room, though there was no visible phantom present.
4. The townspeople were terrified by the sightings of a phantom figure wandering the cemetery at night.
5. The paranormal investigator set up cameras and equipment in hopes of capturing evidence of the elusive phantom.
6. The phantom of doubt haunted his every decision.
7. In the moonlight, a phantom figure danced on the water.
8. Her smile was like a phantom, forever etched in his memory.
9. The rumors were mere phantoms, devoid of any truth.
10. The phantom pain of his lost love never truly faded.
11. A phantom sensation of warmth enveloped her as she reminisced.
12. Shadows cast by the trees created eerie phantom shapes.
13. The old mansion was rumored to be haunted by phantoms.
14. The phantom of regret haunted him for years.
15. The elusive phantom of happiness seemed just out of reach.
16. His dreams were filled with phantoms from the past.
17. The phantom scent of roses brought back bittersweet memories.
18. The phantom applause echoed in his ears long after the performance.
19. The phantom voice on the phone sent shivers down her spine.
20. The artist painted a masterpiece featuring a spectral phantom.
21. The eerie fog created a hauntingly beautiful phantom world.
22. The phantom of despair lurked in the darkest corners of his mind.
23. The elusive phantom of success always seemed one step away.
24. The abandoned theater was said to be haunted by phantom actors.
25. A phantom ship appeared on the horizon, shrouded in mist.

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