1. What does ghosting mean?

Leaving without saying goodbye

Ghosting means leaving without saying goodbye. It may refer to when a person leaves a social gathering without saying goodbye or when a person cuts off contact without warning.

Ghosting is done by people who don't want to go through the drawn-out process of saying their farewells to others when all they want to do is bounce. The term is also known by some as the French exit or Irish goodbye. Ghosting may also appear as just "ghost."

Ghosting is not only limited to the context of leaving social gatherings. It is also used in the dating world when a person abruptly cuts off contact with another person. He or she may stop texting or emailing without giving a reason and just vanish like a ghost, without a trace.

Ghosting in romantic relationships is a tactic employed by people that are afraid of conflict or are just plain lazy. It is typically done by men who are bad at communication but may also be done by females.

One reason ghosting has become more popular recently is the reliance on technology to connect with others. So instead of breaking up with someone face-to-face, over-the-phone, or in a letter, people find it much more convenient to text or email the person. In regards to ghosting, many people prefer to just not answer their SO's phone calls, texts, emails, or social posts and wait for them to take the hint.

While this method of breaking up is easier for the one doing the breaking up, it is extremely frustrating for the person he or she is breaking up with. So it is wise to avoid ghosting if you don't want to leave a trail of bitter exes.


"Patrick left? He didn't say goodbye!
Yeah, he's always ghosting at parties."

Iliza is good at ghosting

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Last Updated: August 29, 2017

2. What does ghosting mean in gaming?

Observing an opponent's gameplay

Gamers use ghosting to describe the act of a player observing an opponent's gameplay, usually via a Twitch stream. Watching the opponent's gameplay gives the ghoster access to additional, usually-hidden information.

For example, CCG players may ghost an opponent to learn what cards are in the opponent's hand. Or, an FPS player might ghost an opponent to learn that opponent's location, and sneak in for a surprise kill.

Is ghosting cheating?

Most gamers consider ghosting to be cheating. However, because it is difficult to prove a player is ghosting, most games do not explicitly ban the practice. Additionally, other players argue that ghosting is a legitimate tactic. After all, no one is forcing streamers to stream their gameplay.

What else might ghosting mean in gaming?

More rarely, gamers may use ghosting to refer to "ghost images" appearing on their monitors. These afterimages are usually caused by a low screen refresh rate or high response time. However, this definition of ghosting has largely been supplanted by the more modern, streaming-related definition.


"It's so obvious they're ghosting. Otherwise they would've slammed that play on turn two."

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Last Updated: May 11, 2022

Ghosting definition

This page explains what the slang term "Ghosting" means. The various definitions, examples, and related terms listed above have been written and compiled by the Slangit team.

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