ignis fatuus

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ig·nis fat·u·us

 (ĭg′nĭs făch′o͞o-əs)
n. pl. ig·nes fat·u·i (ĭg′nēz făch′o͞o-ī′)
1. A phosphorescent light that hovers or flits over swampy ground at night, possibly caused by spontaneous combustion of gases emitted by rotting organic matter. Also called friar's lantern, jack-o'-lantern, will-o'-the-wisp, wisp.
2. Something that misleads or deludes; an illusion.

[Medieval Latin : Latin ignis, fire + Latin fatuus, foolish.]

ignis fatuus

(ˈɪɡnɪs ˈfætjʊəs)
n, pl ignes fatui (ˈɪɡniːz ˈfætjʊˌaɪ)
another name for will-o'-the-wisp
[C16: from Medieval Latin, literally: foolish fire]

ig•nis fat•u•us

(ˈɪg nɪs ˈfætʃ u əs)

n., pl. ig•nes fat•u•i (ˈɪg niz ˈfætʃ uˌaɪ)
1. Also called will-o'-the-wisp. a flickering phosphorescent light seen at night chiefly over marshy ground and believed to be due to spontaneous combustion of gas from decomposed organic matter.
2. something deluding or misleading.
[1555–65; < Medieval Latin: literally, foolish fire]

ignis fatuus

A Latin phrase meaning foolish fire, used to mean a naturally produced phosphorescent light sometimes seen over swampy land at night.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.ignis fatuus - a pale light sometimes seen at night over marshy groundignis fatuus - 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.ignis fatuus - an illusion that misleads
fancy, phantasy, illusion, fantasy - something many people believe that is false; "they have the illusion that I am very wealthy"

ignis fatuus

noun
An erroneous perception of reality:
References in periodicals archive ?
Thomas Hobbes, another Englishman, wrote in 1651 in Leviathan that "metaphors, and senseless and ambiguous words, are like ignes fatui [delusions]; and reasoning upon them, is wandering amongst innumerable absurdities; and their end, contention, and sedition, or contempt.
And, on the contrary, metaphors, and senseless and ambiguous words, are like ignes fatui [delusions]; and reasoning upon them is wandering amongst innumerable absurdities; and their ends, contention and sedition, or contempt.