American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. See ignis fatuus.
- n. A delusive or misleading hope.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The ignis fatuus; hence, any person or thing that deludes or misleads by dazzling, visionary, or evanescent appearances. Also will-in-the-wisp, will-with-a-wisp, and Jack o' lantern.
- n. A common fresh-water alga, Nostoc commune: so named from its sudden and seemingly mysterious appearance. See Nostoc.
- n. alternative spelling of will o' the wisp.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. See ignis fatuus.
- n. a pale light sometimes seen at night over marshy ground
- n. an illusion that misleads
- From the name Will (nickname for William). (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“That is, the media have been chasing a will-o'-the-wisp for the better part of a year, whipping car buyers and Congress into a frenzy.”
“The audience is shivering, and that's not just down to Warpaint's eldritch, will-o'-the-wisp music.”
“Dim will-o'-the-wisp glows came from the warm globes of the street lamps overhead.”
“A torch light, erratic as a will-o'-the-wisp, was weaving towards him from the direction of the Grange.”
“I may be on the trail in this matter, or I may be following a will-o'-the-wisp, but I shall soon know which it is.”
“The other man of the hour at the time, former Speaker Newt Gingrich was a will-o'-the-wisp compared to Limbaugh and his staying power.”
“Without their steady stream of oil money to keep will-o'-the-wisp economies from sinking into the bog, they are in serious trouble.”
“People are "pursuing a will-o'-the-wisp if they think by just letting the dollar slide enough, the trade balance will turn around," says Ronald McKinnon,”
“Pauline cringes at the heartache Chick inflicted as a demanding child, obnoxious teen and brusque, oblivious adult chasing the will-o'-the-wisp of a baseball career.”
“The town has mown an access path into a portion of the undiscovered country, and the fragrance of the mown grass-turning-into-hay, along with clover and bedstraw/madder, and the wild roses, well, it's better than will-o'-the-wisp or the pied piper's flute for calling you to come on in, come on in...”
These user-created lists contain the word ‘will-o'-the-wisp’.
Terms with multiple hyphens, such as rent-a-crowd. Not intended to be a see-how-many-words-one-can-string-together-with-hyphens-used-adjectively sort of list.
A list of words that are odd or words that I have looked up.
All things Light
leprechaunic hair, a dinky grin, strangled giggle, a waft of words, comatose fun, a grisly shooting..., jim bag clothes, to quench and fuss, shutter hole, tearful sludge, dead-eye blue, coughing curtains... and 97 more...
The Earth's Anomalous Lightforms: 'The web is littered with folklore sites made by amateur researchers that contain lists of synonyms for the Will-o'-the-wisp. In most cases, citations and sources ...
These kind of stun me whenever I see them. Language is just so cool.
Halos, arcs, and other glowy phenomena.
unnameable, unknowable, unfathomable
the feeling of reading Joseph Conrad or H. P. Lovecraft
or walking through Kunark in EverQuest
or looking at medi...
tam-o'-shanter, jack-o'-lantern, man-o'-war, will-o'-the-wisp, light-o'-love, cat-o'-nine-tails, hop-o'-my-thumb, tom o' bedlam, bess o' bedlam, john o' groats, five o'clock shadow, o'dark thirty and 25 more...
Looking for tweets for will-o'-the-wisp.