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specter
as in:  specter of national poverty


From where I sit on the field, he’s a bizarre specter, so frail and ashen.
Sabaa Tahir  --  An Ember in the Ashes
  a mental image of something frightening or disturbing

or:

a ghostly appearing image
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spectre specter spectres specters
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Samples:
  • From where I sit on the field, he’s a bizarre specter, so frail and ashen.
    Sabaa Tahir  --  An Ember in the Ashes
  • It was my father, standing on my doorstep like some awful specter summoned by my hatefulness.
    Gillian Flynn  --  Gone Girl
  • A flesh-and-blood person, not a specter.
    Gayle Forman  --  Where She Went
  • For even as we set about the work of sprucing up her late husband’s gravesite, with all the typically complicated specters and notions attending such a task, I was in fact nearly giddy, and I believe she was as well.
    Chang-rae Lee  --  A Gesture Life

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  • A few months of military rations weren’t enough to banish the specter of malnutrition that haunted the Colony’s poor outer ships, Walden and Arcadia.
    Kass Morgan  --  The 100
  • It had become a kind of specter for me, that airless little room with no windows.
    Jojo Moyes  --  Me Before You
  • Her blood went cold at the sight of the shimmering specter of the first Queen of Adarlan.
    Sarah J. Maas  --  Throne of Glass
  • What had hours before been the mart of commerce was now an indescribable chaos of broken columns, fallen walls, streets covered with debris, melted metal, charred and blackened trees standing like spectres.
    Jim Murphy  --  The Great Fire
  • There is no other sound, not of traffic or airplanes or trains or radios or the specter of Frau Schwartzenberger rattling the cage of the elevator.
    Anthony Doerr  --  All the Light We Cannot See
  • He turns to Aidan Richter, who looks haunted and stares at me like I’m a specter.
    Katja Millay  --  The Sea of Tranquility

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  • As for Tante Jans, her own particular specter moved very close.
    Corrie Ten Boom  --  The Hiding Place
  • (There is of course the specter of pregnancy.
    Margaret Atwood  --  Cat’s Eye
  • She remembered the feel of the golden saber in her hand as she slashed down her father’s specter—his face full of outrage and betrayal.
    Rick Riordan  --  The Blood of Olympus
  • Phantasms specters ghouls visitants post-terrestrials apparitions, Lidewij.
    John Green  --  The Fault in Our Stars
  • One lieutenant had been visited by a specter who had tried to lure him to the bottom of the ocean.
    Laura Hillenbrand  --  Unbroken
  • A specter of a man came through the dark shed.
    John Steinbeck  --  The Grapes of Wrath
  • Then there was dysentery, the specter of which was raised with every loose stool.
    Khaled Hosseini  --  A Thousand Splendid Suns
  • The Bloody Baron was the Slytherin ghost, a gaunt and silent specter covered in silver bloodstains.
    J.K. Rowling  --  Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
  • His eyes in their bulging sockets ticked up and down, trying to understand the specter of this huge white man.
    Barbara Kingsolver  --  The Poisonwood Bible
  • I had more money and success and "security" than in the days when specters seemed to go up and down them with me.
    John Knowles  --  A Separate Peace
  • It would come, and it would come; a grisly thing, a specter born in the black caverns of terror; a power primeval, cosmic, shadowing the tortures of the lost souls flung out to chaos and destruction.
    Upton Sinclair  --  The Jungle
  • Purple light threw horrible, ghostly shadows on the cabin walls, as if the specters were escaping right out of the fountain.
    Rick Riordan  --  The Battle of the Labyrinth
  • She had the sense they were being watched, not by anyone in the flesh, but by specters in the dark.
    Dan Brown  --  Angels & Demons
  • Then the class captain would blow his whistle and we’d march in a single file to our classrooms, longing for winter already, greeted instead by the specter of yet another long school year.
    Khaled Hosseini  --  The Kite Runner
  • Aphrodite was curled up on the chair, cowering from the specters.
    P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast  --  Marked
  • There was no specter haunting him, no visits from beyond, no restless spirit with a message to deliver.
    Nicholas Sparks  --  The Lucky One
  • He stalked like the specter of a soldier, his eyes burning with the power of a stare into the unknown.
    Stephen Crane  --  The Red Badge of Courage
  • At the next instant the form of Chingachgook appeared from the bushes, looking like a specter in its paint, and glided across the path in swift pursuit.
    James Fenimore Cooper  --  The Last of the Mohicans
  • His face was haggard and pale, like he’d seen a specter.
    Rick Riordan  --  The Titan’s Curse
  • In looks a man may be a shade, a specter, and yet be master of speech so crowned with beauty that people gaze at him with pleasure.
    Homer  --  The Odyssey
  • "Well!" cried he, throwing his sword upon the bed, "this man must be the devil in person; he has disappeared like a phantom, like a shade, like a specter."
    Alexandre Dumas  --  The Three Musketeers
  • He sprang forward to enter, but the specter plucked him back, and waved threateningly before him a.
    Louisa May Alcott  --  Little Women
  • The last soldier panicked and fled toward the impassive specters of the Ra’zac while Sloan bombarded him with a stream of insults and foul names.
    Christopher Paolini  --  Eldest
  • A block away lived another Hasidic sect, Jews from southern Poland, who walked the Brooklyn streets like specters, with their black hats, long black coats, black beards, and earlocks.
    Chaim Potok  --  The Chosen
  • She marched the shrinking ghost-seer down to the spring and ordered her to proceed straightaway over the bridge and into the dusky retreats of wailing ladies and headless specters beyond.
    Lucy Maud Montgomery  --  Anne Of Green Gables
  • The specter of suffocation vanished.
    Robert Cormier  --  The Chocolate War
  • Between the brandy which was smoothing out the harsh contours of remorse and Rhett’s mocking but comforting words, the pale specter of Frank was receding into shadows.
    Margaret Mitchell  --  Gone with the Wind
  • Between the two of them, the governess and the "specter" destroy him.
    Thomas C. Foster  --  How to Read Literature Like a Professor
  • ’I give my word,’ the chaplain pleaded, but it was too late, for the homely hirsute specter had already vanished, dissolving so expertly inside the blooming, dappled, fragmented malformations of leaves, light and shadows that the chaplain was already doubting that he had even been there.
    Joseph Heller  --  Catch-22
  • But the Glass Eyes and card soldiers dispatched to destroy these Alysses found nothing because these Alysses were specters, reflections come to life, conjurings from the real princess’ imagination that she had dispersed throughout the queendom to confuse Redd’s all-seeing eye.
    Frank Beddor  --  The Looking Glass Wars
  • Suddenly, they were caught by a frightening specter: a nearly maniacal Barbara, wild-eyed, switch in hand, who snatched Leslie in midstride and snapped the switch across her face.
    Ron Suskind  --  A Hope in the Unseen
  • In the shadows of her house, the solitary widow who at one time had been the confidante of his repressed loves and whose persistence had saved his life was a specter out of the past.
    Gabriel Garcia Marquez  --  One Hundred Years of Solitude
  • there were many grim specters.
    Don DeLillo  --  White Noise
  • But the nearer the big day approached, the more the specter of Lina haunted us as we did jumping jacks in the Lina Lovaton Gymnasium.
    Julia Alvarez  --  In the Time of the Butterflies
  • Silent as a specter, Arya grasped the post and, using only the strength of her arms, pulled herself hand over hand toward Eragon.
    Christopher Paolini  --  Brisingr
  • The specter of technology the Sutherlands are running from becomes not an evil but a positive fun thing.
    Robert M. Pirsig  --  Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
  • Then the specter that I went in dread of came nearer, till I saw it plain.
    Hermann Hesse  --  Steppenwolf
  • Moonlight faded after a time, and with it that distant specter of the mountain; then the triple mischiefs of darkness, cold, and wind increased until dawn.
    James Hilton  --  Lost Horizon
  • I steel myself against the specters always haunting me, gather all my inner strength, softly kiss the promise of his lips.
    Ellen Hopkins  --  Identical
  • But this oath is probably a mice-and-man matter, for here the specter of one of this breed was over me.
    Saul Bellow  --  The Adventures of Augie March
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Associated words [difficulty]:   specter [2]
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Most commonly used in these subjects:   Classic Literature, Public Policy & Politics, Science
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