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apparition (n.)

early 15c., "supernatural appearance or manifestation," from Anglo-French aparicion, Old French aparicion, aparoison (15c.), used in reference to the Epiphany (the revealing of the Christ child to the Wise Men), from Late Latin apparitionem (nominative apparitio) "an appearance," also "attendants," in classical Latin "service; servants," noun of action from past-participle stem of apparere "appear" (see appear). Meaning "ghost" first recorded c. 1600; the sense differentiation between appearance and apparition is that the latter tends to be unexpected or startling. Related: Apparitional.

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Definitions of apparition

apparition (n.)
a ghostly appearing figure;
we were unprepared for the apparition that confronted us
Synonyms: phantom / phantasm / phantasma / fantasm / specter / spectre
apparition (n.)
the appearance of a ghostlike figure;
I was recalled to the present by the apparition of a frightening specter
apparition (n.)
something existing in perception only;
a ghostly apparition at midnight
Synonyms: phantom / phantasm / phantasma / fantasm / shadow
apparition (n.)
an act of appearing or becoming visible unexpectedly;
natives were amazed at the apparition of this white stranger
From wordnet.princeton.edu