from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Struck by shock, terror, or amazement.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Terrified; struck with amazement; showing signs of terror or horror.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Terrified; struck with amazement; showing signs of terror or horror.
  • transitive v. See agast, v. t.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Struck with amazement; filled with sudden fright or horror. See agast, v. t.
  • Synonyms Horrified, dismayed, confounded, astounded, dumfounded, thunderstruck.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. struck with fear, dread, or consternation


Middle English agast, past participle of agasten, to frighten : a-, intensive pref. (from Old English ā-) + gasten, to frighten (from Old English gǣstan, from gāst, ghost).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English agast, agasted, past participle of agasten ("to terrify"), from Old English prefix a- (compare with Gothic 𐌿𐍃- (us-), German er-, originally meaning "out") + gæstan ("to terrify, torment"): compare Gothic 𐌿𐍃𐌲𐌰𐌹𐍃𐌾𐌰𐌽 (usgaisjan, "to terrify", literally "to fix, to root to the spot with terror"); akin to Latin haerere ("to stick fast, cling"). See gaze, hesitate. (Wiktionary)



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  • Lovely

    June 19, 2013

  • Railroad telegraphers' shorthand for "Will advise you promptly of any change". --US Railway Assn. Standard Cipher Code, 1906.

    January 19, 2013

  • So, then, this word must be related to ghastly. But probably not to ghost, I would guess. Verrry interrresting.

    June 2, 2009

  • In origin the past participle of an extinct verb agast, extended form of verb gast, both meaning "frighten". The spelling with -h- first appeared in c.1425 (in Scots), well before Caxton famously introduced it in ghost; but it was not until the late 1500s that it became usual for such words.

    June 2, 2009