will-o'-the-wisp(redirected from Ignis fatui)
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1. See ignis fatuus.
2. A delusive or misleading hope.
[From Will, nickname for William.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
will-o'-the-wisp(ˈwɪl ə ðəˈwɪsp)
2. anything that deludes or misleads by luring on; an elusive thing or person.
[1600–10; orig. Will (i.e., William) with the wisp]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
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|Noun||1.||will-o'-the-wisp - a pale light sometimes seen at night over marshy ground|
|2.||will-o'-the-wisp - an illusion that misleads|
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