From Middle English haunten (“to reside, inhabit, use, employ”), from Old French hanter (“to inhabit, frequent, resort to”), from Old Northern French hanter (“to go back home, frequent”), from Old Norse heimta (“to bring home, fetch”) or/and from Old English hāmettan (“to bring home; house; cohabit with”); both from Proto-Germanic *haimatjaną (“to house, bring home”), from Proto-Germanic *haimaz (“village, home”), from Proto-Indo-European *kōym- (“village”).
Cognate with Old English hāmettan (“to provide housing to, bring home”); related to Old English hām (“home, village”), Old French hantin (“a stay, a place frequented by”) from the same Germanic source. Another descendant from the French is Dutch hanteren, whence German hantieren, Swedish hantera, Danish håndtere. More at home.
haunt (third-person singular simple present haunts, present participle haunting, simple past and past participle haunted)
- (transitive) To inhabit or to visit frequently (most often used in reference to ghosts).
A couple of ghosts haunt the old, burnt-down house.
c. 1597, William Shakespeare, “The Merry VViues of VVindsor”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act III, scene iv], page 52, column 1:
You wrong me Sir,thus ſtill to haunt my houſe.
1600, [Torquato Tasso], “(please specify |book=1 to 20)”, in Edward Fairefax [i.e., Edward Fairfax], transl., Godfrey of Bulloigne, or The Recouerie of Ierusalem. […], London: […] Ar[nold] Hatfield, for I[saac] Iaggard and M[atthew] Lownes, OCLC 940138160:
- Foul spirits haunt my resting place.
- 1713, Jonathan Swift, Imitation of Horace, Book I. Ep. VII.
- those cares that haunt the court and town
- (transitive) To make uneasy, restless.
The memory of his past failures haunted him.
- (transitive) To stalk; to follow.
The policeman haunted him, following him everywhere.
2014 September 23, Elle King and Dave Bassett, “Ex's & Oh's”, in Love Stuff, performed by Elle King:
Ex's and the oh-oh-oh's, they haunt me / Like ghosts, they want me / To make 'em a-a-all / They won't let go / Ex's and oh's
- (intransitive, now rare) To live habitually; to stay, to remain.
- (transitive, UK dialectal, Northern England, Scotland) To accustom; habituate; make accustomed to.
c. 1382–1395, John Wycliffe [et al.], Josiah Forshall and Frederic Madden, editors, The Holy Bible, […], volume I (in Middle English), Oxford: At the University Press, published 1850, OCLC 459166891, I. Timothy 4:7, columns 1, 2: […] haunte thi silf to pite [or pitee].
- […] haunt thyself to piety.
- (transitive, UK dialectal, Northern England, Scotland) To practise; to devote oneself to.
- 1570, Roger Ascham, The School master
- Leave honest pleasure, and haunt no good pastime.
- (intransitive) To persist in staying or visiting.
c. 1603–1604 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Othello, the Moore of Venice”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act I, scene i], page 311, column 1:
I haue charg’d thee not to haunt about my doores: […]
to inhabit, or visit frequently
- Bulgarian: посещавам (bg) (poseštavam)
- Mandarin: 出沒 (zh), 出没 (zh) (chūmò) (of creatures)
- Czech: strašit (cs), obcházet
- Dutch: rondspoken (nl)
- Finnish: kummitella (fi) (of ghosts), olla (fi)
- French: hanter (fr)
- German: spuken (de) (of ghosts), heimsuchen (de)
- Greek: στοιχειώνω (el) (stoicheióno)
- Hungarian: kísért (hu)
- Irish: gnáthaigh
- Italian: infestare (it)
- Japanese: 出没する (ja) (shutsubotsu suru) (of creatures), 取り憑く (ja) (toritsuku)
- Maori: kuku, poke (mi)
- Polish: straszyć (pl), nawiedzać (pl), nawiedzić (pl), nawiedzać (pl) impf, nawiedzić (pl) pf
- Portuguese: perseguir (pt), assombrar (pt)
- Romanian: bântui (ro)
- Russian: посеща́ть (ru) impf (poseščátʹ), навеща́ть (ru) impf (naveščátʹ), появля́ться (ru) impf (pojavljátʹsja)
- Spanish: frecuentar (es)
- Swedish: hemsöka (sv)
- Welsh: mynychu (cy)
Translations to be checked
haunt (plural haunts)
- A place at which one is regularly found; a habitation or hangout.
The shopping mall is a popular haunt of the local teenagers in this town.
I went back the town I used to live and visited all my old haunts.
1819, Washington Irving, The Sketch Book, Rip Van Winkle:
It is a great rock or cliff on the loneliest part of the mountains, and, … is known by the name of the Garden Rock. Near the foot of it is a small lake, the haunt of the solitary bittern, with water-snakes basking in the sun on the leaves of the pond-lilies which lie on the surface.
- 1868, Louisa May Alcott, "Kitty's Class Day":
- Both Jack and Fletcher had graduated the year before, but still took an interest in their old haunts, and patronized the fellows who were not yet through.
- 1984, Timothy Loughran and Natalie Angier, "Science: Striking It Rich in Wyoming," Time, 8 Oct.:
- Wyoming has been a favorite haunt of paleontologists for the past century ever since westering pioneers reported that many vertebrate fossils were almost lying on the ground.
2018, Michael Coogan, Marc Brettler, Carol Newsom, The New Oxford Annotated Bible with Apocrypha:
It shall be the haunt of jackals, an abode for ostriches.
- (dialect) A ghost.
- Synonym: haint
- A lair or feeding place of animals.
place at which one is regularly found
- Bulgarian: свърталище (bg) n (svǎrtalište)
- Dutch: trefpunt (nl)
- Finnish: kantapaikka (fi), vakiopaikka
- French: point de rencontre m
- German: Treffpunkt (de) m
- Greek: στέκι (el) n (stéki), λημέρι (el) n (liméri), εντευκτήριο (el) n (entefktírio)
- Italian: ritrovo (it) m
- Japanese: 行きつけ (ikitsuke)
- Korean: 단골 (ko) (dan'gol)
- Latin: lustrum n
- Macedonian: свратилиште n (svratilište)
- Maori: ripoinga, kainga waewae
- Persian: پاتوق (fa) (pâtoq)
- Portuguese: poiso m, poiso habitual m, pouso (pt) m, pouso habitual m
- Swedish: mötesplats (sv), träffpunkt (sv), tillhåll (sv) n, gömsle (sv) n
- Welsh: bro f
feeding place for animals