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will–o'–the–wisp

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noun \ˌwil-ə-thə-ˈwisp\

Simple Definition of will–o'–the–wisp

  • : a goal that cannot be reached

  • : a light that sometimes appears at night over wet ground

Full Definition of will–o'–the–wisp

  1. 1 :  ignis fatuus 1

  2. 2 :  a delusive or elusive goal

will–o'–the–wisp adjective

Origin of will–o'–the–wisp

Will (nickname for William) + of + the + wisp


First Known Use: circa 1661


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