1. What is ghosting?

Leaving without saying goodbye

Ghosting is when a person vanishes without saying goodbye. The term typically refers to when a person leaves a social gathering without saying goodbye or when someone cuts off contact, usually with a romantic partner, without warning.

Regarding ghosting at a gathering, people who ghost don't want to go through the drawn-out process of saying their farewells to others when all they want to do is bounce. People may also refer to ghosting as the French exit or Irish goodbye.

Ghosting in dating

Ghosting is not only limited to the context of leaving social gatherings. It is also used in dating when a person abruptly stops contact with another person. For example, they may stop texting or emailing without giving a reason and vanish like a ghost, without a trace.

Ghosting in romantic relationships is a tactic employed by people who are afraid of conflict or just lazy. Men who are bad at communication and commitment are the most common ghosters, but women may also ghost people.

Why ghosting has become popular in dating

One reason ghosting has become popular 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. Regarding ghosting, many people prefer not to answer their SO's phone calls, texts, emails, or social posts and wait for them to take the hint.

While ghosting a person to break up with them is convenient for the one doing the breaking up, it is incredibly frustrating for the person they are 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

Related Slang


Updated September 13, 2022
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.

Related Slang


Updated October 21, 2022

Ghosting definition by

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 team.

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