Definition of wisp
1 : a small handful (as of hay or straw)
2a : a thin strip or fragmentb : a thready streak a wisp of smokec : something frail, slight, or fleeting a wisp of a girl a wisp of a smile
3 archaic : will-o'-the-wisp
wispilyplay \ˈwi-spə-lē\ adverb
wispinessplay \ˈwi-spē-nəs\ noun
wispyplay \ˈwi-spē\ adjective
Examples of wisp in a Sentence
Wisps of steam rose up from the teapot.
Wisps of cotton candy clung to his mouth.
Recent Examples of wisp from the Web
Santa Barbara prawns grilled with a wisp of rosemary represent the West Coast; New Bedford scallops chopped into a tartare and served with sea grass and toasted brioche compete for the East.
Life is here today and gone tomorrow, like a breath or a wisp of smoke.
A space-age, nine-foot wisp of carbon is one of the few competitive advantages Orvis has over an outfit such as L.L. Bean, which makes a vast array of products but less respected rods.
Mali arrived in November 2014, a 6-pound wisp of a baby with a pile of NICU discharge paperwork.
Weighing a will-o'-the-wispNeutrinos vastly outnumber all the atoms in the universe.
Weighing a will-o'-the-wisp Neutrinos vastly outnumber all the atoms in the universe.
In a small basement at the corner of the main road in Ufa, the capital city of the Republic of Bashkortostan in Russia, Evguenia Zakhar is painstakingly outlining flowers along wisp-like scars.
At the crook of the elbow is Pleasant Bay, protected by the thin ribbon of North Beach, and farther north Nauset Marsh is protected only by the wisp of Nauset Beach.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'wisp.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of wisp
First Known Use: 13th centurySee Words from the same year
Definition of wisp
1 : to roll into a wisp
2 : to make wisps of a cigarette wisping smoke at the corner of his mouth — Raymond Chandler
: to emerge or drift in wisps her hair began to wisp into her eyes — Mary Manning
First Known Use of wisp
WISP Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of wisp for English Language Learners
: a thin streak of smoke, mist, etc.
: a thin thread or strand of something (such as hair)
: a small amount of something
WISP Defined for Kids
Definition of wisp for Students
1 : a thin piece or strand wisps of hair
2 : a thin streak wisps of smoke
3 : a small amount of something There was a wisp of a smile on her face.
Seen and Heard
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