Definitions for will-o'-the-wispˈwɪl ə ðəˈwɪsp
This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word will-o'-the-wisp
Random House Webster's College Dictionary
will-o'-the-wispˈwɪl ə ðəˈwɪsp(n.)
Ref: ignis fatuus (def. 1). 1
anything that deludes or misleads by luring on; an elusive thing or person.
Origin of will-o'-the-wisp:
1600–10; orig. Will (i.e., William) with the wisp
friar's lantern, ignis fatuus, jack-o'-lantern, will-o'-the-wisp(noun)
a pale light sometimes seen at night over marshy ground
will-o'-the-wisp, ignis fatuus(noun)
an illusion that misleads
see Ignis fatuus
A will-o'-the-wisp or ignis fatuus are atmospheric ghost lights seen by travellers at night, especially over bogs, swamps or marshes. It resembles a flickering lamp and is said to recede if approached, drawing travellers from the safe paths. The phenomenon is known by a variety of names, including jack-o'-lantern, hinkypunk, and hobby lantern in English folk belief, well attested in English folklore and in much of European folklore.
Find a translation for the will-o'-the-wisp definition in other languages:
Select another language:
Discuss these will-o'-the-wisp definitions with the community:
Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:
"will-o'-the-wisp." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2014. Web. 20 Sep. 2014. <http://www.definitions.net/definition/will-o'-the-wisp>.