Simple Definition of wraith
: the spirit of a dead person
Full Definition of wraith
plural wraiths play \ˈrāths also ˈrāthz\
Examples of wraith in a sentence
<the people who once lived here believed that their world was populated by wraiths and witches>
Did You Know?
If you see your own double, you're in trouble, at least if you believe old superstitions. The belief that a ghostly twin's appearance portends death is one common to many cultures. In German folklore, such an apparition was called a "Doppelgänger" (literally, "double goers"); in Scottish lore, they were "wraiths." The exact origin of the word wraith is misty, however. Etymologists can only trace it back to its first use in an English text in a 1513 translation of Virgil’s "Aeneid" by Gavin Douglas (the Scotsman used "wraith" to name apparitions of both the dead and the living). In current English, "wraith" has taken on additional, less spooky, meanings as well; it now often suggests a shadowy - but not necessarily scary - lack of substance.
Origin of wraith
First Known Use: 1513
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