will-o'-the-wisp [wil′ə thə wisp′]
[earlier Will with the wisp < Will (nickname for WILLIAM1) + WISP]
1. JACK-O'-LANTERN (sense 1)
2. any hope or goal that leads one on but is impossible to reach

English World dictionary. . 2014.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • will-o'-the-wisp — 1660s, earlier Will with the wisp (c.1600), from the masc. proper name Will + wisp bundle of hay or straw used as a torch …   Etymology dictionary

  • will-o'-the-wisp — ► NOUN 1) a phosphorescent light seen hovering or floating at night on marshy ground, thought to result from the combustion of natural gases. 2) a person or thing that is difficult or impossible to reach or catch. ORIGIN originally as Will with… …   English terms dictionary

  • Will-o'-the-wisp — n. See {Ignis fatuus}. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • will-o'-the-wisp — Something that deceives by its appearance is a will o’ the wisp; it looks good, but turns out to be a disappointment …   The small dictionary of idiomes

  • will-o'-the-wisp — will o the wisp; will o the wisp·ish; …   English syllables

  • will i the wisp — will i(n) the wisp see will o the wisp …   Useful english dictionary

  • will in the wisp — will i(n) the wisp see will o the wisp …   Useful english dictionary

  • will o' the wisp — [ ,wıl əðə wısp ] noun count 1. ) LITERARY something that is impossible to achieve 2. ) LITERARY someone you cannot depend on 3. ) a blue light caused by burning gases that you sometimes see at night over wet ground …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • will o' the wisp — n [C usually singular] 1.) someone that you can never completely depend on, or something that you can never achieve 2.) a blue moving light caused by natural gases, that can be seen over wet ground at night …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Will-o'-the-wisp — For other uses, see Will o the wisp (disambiguation). Will o the wisp Phenomenon An 1882 oil painting of a will o the wisp by Arnold Böcklin See also …   Wikipedia

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