(redirected from Will-o-the-wisp)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Wikipedia.


phenomenon known also as ignis fatuus and jack-o'-lantern. It is seen at night as a pale, flickering light over marshland. There is no generally accepted explanation for it; it may result from the spontaneous ignition of gases (e.g., methane) produced by the disintegration of dead plant or animal matter, or it may be a form of phosphorescence. The eerie lights have given rise to many superstitions.
References in periodicals archive ?
Handgun accuracy, that veiled phantom we gunsmiths chase our entire lives, seems like a Will-O-the-Wisp as it comes and goes at a frustrating pace.
Then will-o-the-wisp Briers added a drop goal and there was no way back for the Wildcats.