Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A goblin in English folklore, often appearing in the shape of a large dog and believed to portend imminent death or misfortune.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A legendary monstrous black dog with huge teeth and claws.
  • n. A ghost, wraith, hobgoblin, elf, or spirit.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A goblin, in the shape of a large dog, portending misfortune.

Etymologies

bar (perhaps from barrow2) + ghest, ghost (dialectal variant of ghost).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Disputed; perhaps burh-ghest, town-ghost, or German Berg-geist (mountain spirit) or Bär-geist (bear-spirit). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The barghest has a kinsman in the Rongeur d'Os of Norman folklore.

    Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 3, Part 1, Slice 3 "Banks" to "Bassoon"

  • She's created a world so nuanced and believable, I half-expect to see barghest hounds on my next trip to the mall.

    Even More Blurbs! -- Double Coolation!!

  • Yes, there was one vampire and I am started to get a bit tired of vampires at this point, especially since I was never a big fan of them in the first place, but this supernatural world also contains kelpies, selkies, gnomes, djinn, nahual, a barghest, and nagas.

    Archive 2009-10-01

  • This was mainly due to Jane herself, the barghest Anyan, and the plethora of supernatural which fortunately was not limited to just the typical vampires and werewolves.

    Archive 2009-10-01

  • Anyan, the barghest, is one of those mysterious characters and there are a few intriguing hints about him that are dropped here and there.

    Archive 2009-10-01

  • Let me see... there was the barghest, and although it kept creating illusions of itself to fool us, and I wasted a Flame Strike on it, we defeated it eventually.

    gloriagoodbody: The passing of another noble companion.

  • Well, one barghest, but the point was that there was the illusionary one and then there was the real one and there were elves and I shot at the elves and they fell over and then Duncan got attacked and fell off the roof and Miriam grabbed him and I healed him as best as I could and then we ran like crazy.

    gloriagoodbody: Monkey business.

  • And at one point it was that a wier-wier, one of the solitary water-birds of this region, uttered its ouphe and barghest cry, flying from somewhere near into some darker recess within the woods.

    An American Tragedy

  • The barghest was essentially a nocturnal spectre, and its appearance was regarded as a portent of death.

    Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 3, Part 1, Slice 3 "Banks" to "Bassoon"

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