will-o'-the-wisp

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will-o'-the-wisp

 (wĭl′ə-thə-wĭsp′)
n.
2. A delusive or misleading hope.

[From Will, nickname for William.]

will-o'-the-wisp

(ˌwɪləðəˈwɪsp)
n
1. (Chemistry) Also called: friar's lantern, ignis fatuus or jack-o'-lantern a pale flame or phosphorescence sometimes seen over marshy ground at night. It is believed to be due to the spontaneous combustion of methane or other hydrocarbons originating from decomposing organic matter
2. a person or thing that is elusive or allures and misleads
[C17: originally Will with the wisp, from Will short for William and wisp in former sense of a twist of hay or straw burning as a torch]
ˌwill-o'-the-ˈwispish, ˌwill-o'-the-ˈwispy adj

will-o'-the-wisp

(ˈwɪl ə ðəˈwɪsp)

n.
2. anything that deludes or misleads by luring on; an elusive thing or person.
[1600–10; orig. Will (i.e., William) with the wisp]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.will-o'-the-wisp - a pale light sometimes seen at night over marshy groundwill-o'-the-wisp - a pale light sometimes seen at night over marshy ground
light, visible light, visible radiation - (physics) electromagnetic radiation that can produce a visual sensation; "the light was filtered through a soft glass window"
2.will-o'-the-wisp - an illusion that misleads
fancy, phantasy, illusion, fantasy - something many people believe that is false; "they have the illusion that I am very wealthy"

will-o'-the-wisp

noun
An erroneous perception of reality:
Translations

will-o'-the-wisp

[ˈwɪləðəˈwɪsp] N (lit) → fuego m fatuo (fig) → quimera f

will-o'-the-wisp

[ˌwɪləðəˈwɪsp] n (= elusive person, thing) → feu follet m

will-o'-the-wisp

[ˌwɪləðəˈwɪsp] n (also) (fig) → fuoco fatuo
References in periodicals archive ?
With will-of-the-wisp full-back Tomkins thrilling the 42,344 crowd with his trademark dashes and Kevin Sinfield and Rangi Chase continuing to build on their lively half-back partnership, England were full of invention but were left to rue a series of defensive lapses which proved costly.
It was left to Wimbush to ensure the points in the closing throes from the penalty spot after will-of-the-wisp Jackson had been upended in the box.
Somewhere out there (preferably not from one of the usual anti-American suspects), there are fundamental questions to be asked about whether the so-called "revolution in military affairs"--the fusion of information technology and airborne platforms to deliver a global precision strike capability--is anything more than a will-of-the-wisp.