Definition of "phantom" []

  • Something apparently seen, heard, or sensed, but having no physical reality; a ghost or an apparition. (noun)
  • Something elusive or delusive. (noun)
  • An image that appears only in the mind; an illusion. (noun)
  • Something dreaded or despised. (noun)
  • Resembling, characteristic of, or being a phantom; illusive. (adjective)
  • An apparition or spectre (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

  • (as modifier) (noun)
  • The visible representation of something abstract, esp as appearing in a dream or hallucination (noun)
  • Something apparently unpleasant or horrific that has no material form (noun) (c) HarperCollins Publishers Ltd 2016

Use "phantom" in a sentence
  • "But he didn't know that Xerox created what it called a "phantom account" for his 1985 payout, credited it with hypothetical interest pegged to stock-market returns—often in the double digits—and subtracted the total from his pension."
  • "At Jacques Torres , chocolatier clerk Katie Bast admits to seeding the tip jar with what she called "phantom dollars"—money from her own pocket."
  • "It documents what it calls phantom aid that's pledged by the US and other countries but never shows up."