Aghast

“Seeing a ghost would leave anyone aghast.”

What is the best definition of aghast?

Check your answer!

Choice A - Made more mellow or alleviated
Choice B - Stricken with shock or horror
Choice C - In absolute denial of something
Choice D - Certain that a belief is true

Definition:

Aghast (adjective) – filled or stricken with horror and/or shock

GRE pro tips:

You may notice that aghast sounds like the GRE word ghastly, meaning horrible or terrifying, and the more common word ghost. And in fact, these words do have a similar origin. (The Middle English word gasten meant “to frighten.”) So, try to remember the meaning of aghast (stricken with shock and horror) by recalling the following: seeing a ghost, or anything ghastly, would leave one aghast.

Note that aghast can also mean stricken with shock (but not horror) – for instance, the unexpected news of your friend winning the lottery could leave you aghast.

Example sentences:

“I was aghast when I learned of my manager’s termination.”

“The gruesome depictions in the film left the audience aghast.”