The Meaning of Ghosting: What It Is and How To Use It

What is ghosting, and what does it mean if someone ghosts you on a dating app? This article covers the slang meaning of ghosting.

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You might think that the word ghosting refers to an act by a scary spirit or is related to Halloween. However, this slang term refers to a widespread phenomenon on dating apps. Continue reading to learn about the meaning of ghosting.

What Does the Word Ghosting Mean?

According to Dictionary, the word ghosting refers to abruptly ending contact with a person without warning or explanation. This most often occurs in romantic relationships and is a frequent practice on online dating apps. 

When someone ghosts another person, they cut off all contact at every source. This means blocking someone’s phone number, blocking them on social media, avoiding them, and probably having their friends and social circles avoid the ghosted person, too. This rejection results in a lack of closure for the ghosted person. 

Bottom line? Don’t ghost, have empathy, and confront your feelings.

Why Do People Ghost?

There are many reasons why a person might choose to ghost someone. However, just because these are reasons why a person might ghost doesn’t mean that ghosting isn’t hurtful. It can feel like emotional cruelty, especially if someone is ghosted during a long-term relationship. 

A person might ghost to avoid confrontation of their own shortcomings, there might be outside social circumstances, or a person might ghost because it’s the easy way out. The one circumstance in which ghosting might be acceptable is in a domestic violence situation where the person needs to protect their own safety when leaving their partner. 

How Does Ghosting Feel?

Ghosting can inflict deep emotional pain. For the ghosted person, being suddenly left from a friendship or romantic relationship without cause can lead to depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, heightened emotions, feelings of guilt, and more. These can all reach different levels, even including physical pain. Consider talking to mental health professionals if you have been ghosted.

What Is the Origin of the Word Ghosting?

According to Very Well Mind, the term ghosting actually originated in 1990s hip-hop music, in which ghosting referred to a person who left or moved away and did not leave any way to contact them. It was also used to refer to an Irish goodbye or Irish exit, which is the act of leaving a party without telling anyone. 

As the advent of online dating grew throughout the 2010s, so did the term ghosting. This word was added to the Merriam-Webster dictionary in the year 2017. Online dating has made it easier to completely cut off contact with a person and never reply to them, so ghosting has become more commonplace.

How Can the Word Ghosting Be Used in a Sentence?

There are many ways in which a person might use the word ghosting to describe being abruptly left. These example sentences can help get you started with using the casual word ghosting. Be sure to avoid the word ghosting in professional or formal settings:

She totally ghosted me out of nowhere. I don’t understand today’s dating world. 

I thought we were on track to get married, but then he ghosted me out of the blue. I couldn’t get in contact with his family or friends to figure out what was going on, either. They came to move his stuff out while I was at work one day.

I am a bit nervous to tell the person I went on a few dates with that I don’t want to see them anymore, but I will not ghost someone.

What Are Synonyms of the Word Ghosting?

Ghosting is considered a slang term, but there are many formal or professionals words that you can use its place. Using synonyms for ghosting can also be helpful if a person does not know the meaning of the word and you’re trying to explain it to them. Reference this list of ghosting synonyms from Power Thesaurus when you need one!

  • abscond
  • be lost to sight
  • be lost to view
  • cease to exist
  • clear
  • cut and run
  • decamp
  • dematerialize
  • depart
  • die
  • die away
  • die out
  • diminish
  • disappear
  • disperse
  • dissipate
  • dissolve
  • dwindle
  • escape
  • evanesce
  • evaporate
  • expire
  • fade
  • fade away
  • fail
  • flee
  • fly
  • get out
  • go
  • go away
  • go missing
  • leave
  • lessen
  • melt
  • melt away
  • pass
  • pass away
  • pass from sight
  • perish
  • peter out
  • recede from view
  • run off
  • sink
  • slip away
  • take off
  • vamoose
  • vanish
  • vanishing
  • wane
  • wear off

What Are Antonyms of the Word Ghosting?

There are plenty of words that mean the opposite of ghosting and can be used to describe a person appearing out of nowhere. If you’re looking for a word to describe the opposite of ghosting, these antonyms from Power Thesaurus can help get you started.

  • appear
  • appear again
  • be remembered
  • be repeated
  • chime
  • come again
  • come and go
  • come back
  • come home
  • come round
  • come up again
  • coming again
  • crop up again
  • echo
  • float up
  • go back
  • happen again
  • haunt thoughts
  • iterate
  • occur again
  • reappear
  • reappeared
  • reappearing
  • reappears
  • recite
  • recrudesce
  • recur
  • recurring
  • recurs
  • reemerge
  • reemerged
  • reenter
  • reiterate
  • reoccur
  • repeat
  • resume
  • resurface
  • return
  • return to mind
  • returned
  • returns
  • revert
  • revisit
  • revolve
  • rotate
  • show up
  • turn back
  • turn up


Ghosting is a phenomenon in which a person cuts off all contact with another person with no explanation or reasoning. This most often happens on online dating and can also happen in long-term romantic relationships or friendships. People find ghosting extremely hurtful, and it can be seen as cowardly.


  1. Ghosting | 
  2. Disappear synonyms – 1 194 Words and Phrases for Disappear | Power Thesaurus 
  3. What Is ghosting? | Very Well Mind 
  4. Reappear Synonyms | Power Thesaurus