ignis fatuus

noun ig·nis fat·u·us \ˈig-nəs-ˈfa-chə-wəs, -ˈfach-wəs\

Definition of ignis fatuus


ignes fatui

play \ˈig-ˌnēz-ˈfa-chə-ˌwī\
  1. 1 :  a light that sometimes appears in the night over marshy ground and is often attributable to the combustion of gas from decomposed organic matter

  2. 2 :  a deceptive goal or hope

Origin and Etymology of ignis fatuus

Medieval Latin, literally, foolish fire

First Known Use: 1563

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