haunt (hônt, hŏnt)
v. haunt·ed, haunt·ing, haunts
1. To inhabit, visit, or appear to in the form of a ghost or other supernatural being.
2. To visit often; frequent: haunted the movie theaters.
3. To come to the mind of continually; obsess: a riddle that haunted me all morning.
4. To be continually present in; pervade: the melancholy that haunts the composer's music.
To recur or visit often, especially as a ghost.
1. A place much frequented.
2. also hant or ha'nt (hănt) or haint (hānt) Chiefly Southern US A ghost or other supernatural being.
[Middle English haunten, to frequent, from Old French hanter; see tkei- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.