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raise the specter of (something)
To make people aware of or worry about something unpleasant, dreadful, or terrifying. Primarily heard in US. The sudden dip in stock prices has raised the specter of another global recession with some investors. Throughout the Cold War, politicians raised the specter of Communism and the Iron Curtain over anything they thought to be "un-American."
the spectre at the feast
Someone or something that acts as a reminder of something negative and thus ruins the enjoyment of something. Primarily heard in UK. I think I'll stay home. I'm afraid that since everyone knows about my recent diagnosis, I will be the spectre at the feast.
the spectre at the feastor
the ghost at the feastBRITISH
If someone or something is the spectre at the feast or the ghost at the feast, they make people feel uncomfortable because they remind them of an unhappy event or situation. At the funeral, Lindsay had stood apart, the ultimate spectre at the feast. That question was the ghost at the feast and cast a shadow over the celebrations. Note: According to the Greek writer Plutarch, the Ancient Egyptians used to place a skeleton at the table during a feast, to remind them that they would die one day.
raise the ˈspectre of something(British English) (American English raise the ˈspecter of something) make people afraid that something unpleasant might happen: The news of more cuts has raised the spectre of redundancies once again.
A spectre is an old word for a ghost.