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specter (n.)

c. 1600, "frightening ghost," from French spectre "an image, figure, ghost" (16c.), from Latin spectrum "appearance, vision, apparition" (see spectrum). Figurative sense "object of dread" is from 1774.

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Definitions of specter from WordNet

specter (n.)
a mental representation of some haunting experience;
it aroused specters from his past
Synonyms: ghost / shade / spook / wraith / spectre
specter (n.)
a ghostly appearing figure;
Synonyms: apparition / phantom / phantasm / phantasma / fantasm / spectre
From wordnet.princeton.edu